Whitehorse’s Arctic Edge figure skater Rachel Pettitt twice had to make a tough decision on the fly at the Vancouver Island Skate International over the weekend in Parksville, B.C.
Due to a technical problem that also affected other competitors, Pettitt’s music cut out while she was performing both her short and long programs in the pre-novice category.
A testament to her ability to maintain focus, Pettitt decided to keep going. She could have stopped her program and started over.
“If it was a bigger competition I definitely would have stopped,” said Pettitt. “But I just felt good so I decided to keep going.”
After a rough start with seventh in the short program, Pettitt took first in the free to win silver overall.
“The music stopped and started and stopped and started, and she decided to keep going,” said her coach and mother, Trish Pettitt. “What (the judges) liked was that she made a decision, she stuck with it and it was flawless.
“Her program was one of her best of the year.”
“The short wasn’t so bad because it was (during) the footwork and it wasn’t as silent, it was going in and out,” said Rachel. “For the long program it was worse.”
Rachel, who was one of 10 Arctic Edge skaters in Parksville, went on to win the gold medal in the silver interpretive category as well.
“Excited. Proud,” said Pettitt, when asked how she felt about her results.
Whitehorse’s Kelcy Armstrong won her team’s second gold medal in the bronze interpretive event. She also placed 10th in the senior bronze event. Armstrong won gold in the introductory interpretive at the event last year.
“Kelcy has been around for quite a few years and is a real go-getter and super hard worker,” said Arctic Edge coach Charlene Donald. “Her interpretive (program) – she’s won with that a couple of times, so we’re going to be changing that shortly.”
Arctic Edge also took in a pair of fourth place finishes.
Bryn Hoffman took fourth in the short and third in the free for fourth in the novice event.
Jenelle Clethero, who also finished fourth last year, was fourth in the introductory interpretive event. She also placed 16th in junior bronze.
“She is one of our up and coming senior skaters and skates five days a week as well,” said Donald. “For Jenelle, it was probably a personal best skate.”
Mikayla Kramer moved up two categories from last year and still finished fifth in the pre-preliminary category. She landed her axel and completed her axel-toe combination to boost her score.
“She’s only nine and competed against kids older than her,” said Donald. “It was very stiff competition for her.”
Whitehorse’s Morgan Madden finished sixth in introductory interpretive and 17th in junior bronze.
Ariel House took seventh in the silver interpretive and 18th in junior bronze.
Landyn Blisner, competing in her first Outside competition, snagged ninth in pre-preliminary category.
Also competing for Arctic Edge were Kayla Armstrong and Zoey Krause, placing 13th and 20th, respectively, in the junior bronze event.
“It’s a tough competition down there,” said Donald. “It’s a real eye-opener. It gives them the opportunity to see what they are competing against and what they need to be in that top half.”
“Figure skating can be very much a solo sport, but when we go down to competitions and we have 10 girls or more, they really come together as a team.
“People know where Whitehorse is now and that we have good skaters.”
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