Arctic Edge skater qualifies for Challenge

Whitehorse’s Mikayla Kramer doesn’t shy away from a challenge. She’s looking forward to it.

Whitehorse’s Mikayla Kramer doesn’t shy away from a challenge. She’s looking forward to it.

The Arctic Edge figure skater qualified for the Skate Canada Challenge competition with a top five finish at the B.C./Yukon Section Championships over the weekend in Kelowna.

“I’m really excited, especially since it’s in Pierrefonds, Quebec, and it’s going to be really cool to go to Quebec,” said Kramer. “I’m just really happy I made it to Challenge.”

Kramer qualified with a little bit of room to spare. The 14-year-old placed fourth out of 25 skaters in novice women with a personal-best combined score of 105.73.

“In my short program I landed my triple salchow, which would be the second time I landed it in competition,” said Kramer. “I was really happy with that because they are just starting to get more consistent and I’m happy I could bring it all together for the competition.”

Kramer took first place in the short program with a score of 39.14. She then placed fourth in the free program with a 66.59, which was another personal best.

“I was really happy, especially in the short I didn’t’ think I’d be placing first because there were a lot of other girls that I thought were way better. They have higher elements than me, so I wasn’t expecting to place first in the short,” said Kramer.

“Going into the long I was quite confident and my goal this year was to make it to Challenge and I did.”

By placing top-five, Kramer will be one of over 500 skaters from across Canada at Challenge, which is the qualifier for the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships this January in Ottawa.

This season’s Challenge, taking place Nov. 30-Dec. 4., will be Kramer’s second. She placed fourth in pre-novice women at last year’s sections and went on to finish 21st out of 60 skaters at Challenge.

Kramer, who represented Yukon at the 2015 Canada Winter Games and the 2014 Arctic Winter Games, placed third in novice women at SummerSkate in Burnaby, B.C. in August and eighth at Autumn Leaves in Kamloops two weeks ago.

Kramer was the only Yukon skater at the championships this past weekend in Kelowna, but she wasn’t supposed to be.

Whitehorse’s Rachel Pettitt was slated to compete in senior women but withdrew before the start of competition. For months Pettitt — the first Yukon skater ever to win a gold medal at the national championships and at the Canada Winter Games — has struggled with anemia (low iron levels in her blood).

“She’s still fighting the anemia, her iron level is still well below where it should be, so it makes it impossible for her to do the long program,” said mother Trish Pettitt, who is also an Arctic Edge coach, in a recent interview.

By missing the section championship, Pettitt will not move on to Challenge, thereby ending her season.

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