Arctic Edge skater at top of her game in Surrey

Whitehorse's Rachel Pettitt had more than Queen Victoria's birthday to celebrate this past holiday weekend. The Arctic Edge club figure skater gave a personal best performance to win gold in pre-novice ladies.

Whitehorse’s Rachel Pettitt had more than Queen Victoria’s birthday to celebrate this past holiday weekend.

The Arctic Edge club figure skater gave a personal best performance to win gold in pre-novice ladies at the Super Series Victoria Day in Surrey, B.C. on Friday and Saturday.

It’s her first gold medal from the annual competition.

“I had a very, very good short; it was probably the best short I’ve ever done in competition,” said the 13-year-old. “I had a clean program, which was pretty exciting.

“My long (free program) wasn’t the best I’ve ever done. I landed my second double axel-double toe, which was one of my goals because it’s at the very end of my program, so I’m pretty tired.”

Pettitt, who was the only skater from the Whitehorse-based club at the competition, placed first in both the short and free programs to win gold overall out of 38 skaters.

The race for second was tight, with four skaters within a point of the second-place score of 67.42. However, Pettitt finished with a comfortable lead, logging a score of 75.24 to finish the competition.

Not only was Pettitt’s score in the short a personal best, so was her overall total.

Helping boost her score in the short was a successful double axel. She also completed her Level 4 combination spin.

“I was just really excited about my short program,” said Pettitt.

It might seem odd that a Whitehorse skater could give a personal best performance over the weekend when there haven’t been any ice surfaces in the Yukon for a couple weeks. But Pettitt kept her skills tight with some practices during a recent visit to Kelowna, B.C.

Pettitt’s gold in Surrey makes it two in a row for the current Ladies 4 Yukon champion in the creative event.

She won a gold and a silver at the Vancouver Island Skate International last month in Parksville, B.C.

Pettitt also captured two silvers and a bronze at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games in the Ladies 4 division this past February in Whitehorse.

In the biggest competition of the season for Arctic Edge, Pettitt placed seventh in the Skate Canada’s BC/YT Sectional Championships in November.

In her previous major Games experience, while representing the Yukon at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax, Pettitt placed 13th overall in the pre-novice division.

Pettitt and her Arctic Edge teammates will be back in action at the BC/YT Section Summerskate this August in Burnaby, B.C.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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