Arctic Edge skaters land in top 10 at Sectionals

Four Arctic Edge skaters were in top form for the biggest competition of the season in Kelowna, BC, over the weekend. Michelle Gorczyca, Rachel Pettitt, Bryn Hoffman and Amelia Austin gave strong performances.

Four Arctic Edge skaters were in top form for the biggest competition of the season in Kelowna, BC, over the weekend.

Michelle Gorczyca, Rachel Pettitt, Bryn Hoffman and Amelia Austin gave strong performances to capture top-10 results at the Skate Canada’s BC/YT Sectional Championships. It’s the best the club has done at the competition as a whole.

“For two Arctic Edge skaters to place in the top 10 out of 61 girls in that event is huge. It’s fantastic,” said Arctic Edge skater and coach Michelle Gorczyca of Pettitt and Hoffman. “It’s a really big deal. With the size of our town, it was really nice to see that take place.”

Skating in the pre-novice women’s division for the first time at Sectionals, Arctic Edge’s Rachel Pettitt finished seventh and Bryn Hoffman ninth.

Pettitt, 12, a first-year pre-novice, scored 27.68 in the short program for sixth, 49.07 in the long for sixth, finishing with a score of 76.75.

“I was very happy with my programs,” said Pettitt. “I had personal bests in both of them. I was a little disappointed with my short, I had a little mistake in one of my easiest jumps in my program – I had a touch down – but I was still happy.

“In my long, I feel like I couldn’t have skated it any better. I landed the hardest jump in the program – my double-axel, double toe – and I landed all the rest of my combination jumps.”

Hoffman took 10th in the short program with a 26.17 and eighth in the long with a 47.85, scoring 74.02 overall.

“I was happy with both programs, but I was especially happy with my long program because it was only the second time I competed with that program,” said Hoffman. “I was pretty happy with how I competed.”

In the long program, “I landed everything, but my double-axel was under rotated, so I didn’t get credit for that,” she added.

Making their results all the more remarkable is the limited ice-time the club has been held to, resulting from the June 24 fire at the Canada Games Centre that delayed the opening of two of Whitehorse’s three rinks. Compared to previous season, the club’s ice-time was cut in half leading up to the Sectionals.

“(Hoffman) had two great performances and she recently came back from a concussion, so she was off the ice for two-and-a-half weeks at the end of September, early October,” said Gorczyca. “So I’m really proud of how well she did considering the lack of ice (time) and her injury – she really bounced back.”

Austin skated to 10th in the short program and eighth in the long to finish 10th in the junior ladies division.

“In my opinion, my performance was really good,” said Austin. “I skated two pretty clean performances and was happy to perform well.

“Unfortunately the score didn’t exactly reflect how well I skated, but I was happy with how I did.”

Austin, 19, travelled to the competition from Montreal, where she’s studying at McGill University and trains at the same club as Olympic bronze medalist Joannie Rochette.

Last season, Austin took up pairs skating but is focused back on singles this year.

“I was very calm and relaxed and focused,” said Austin. “That’s a big improvement because I used to be really nervous and cautious. And I’d be shaky on the ice because I was nervous. This time, I was smooth and had good spins, jumps and footwork.”

Despite having coaching duties in addition to her own competition, Gorczyca took sixth in the short and long for sixth overall in the senior ladies division.

“I was very happy with the way the weekend went considering a few different factors,” said Gorczyca. “The lack of ice (time) we’ve had because of the fire at the Games Centre – so I was only training about four hours per week. The girls that I competed against in Kelowna would probably do that in a day-and-a-half, so it’s a big difference.”

The Sectionals were Pettitt’s third competition of the season and Hoffman’s second.

In SummerSkate in Burnaby, BC, in August, Pettitt finished ninth in pre-novice and Hoffman 16th.

Last month in the Autumn Leaves Competition in Kamloops, BC, Pettitt finished eighth. (Arctic Edge teammate Kelcy Armstrong won a gold in the introductory interpretive event and finished 10th in the senior bronze ladies.)

Pettitt and Hoffman will be back on the ice for the Yukon Gold Nugget Championships on December 3 and 4 at Takhini Arena. The event will double as the trials for the Arctic Winter Games next March in Whitehorse.

In her first Arctic Winter Games in 2008, Hoffman finished third in Ladies 2 and two years later won gold in Ladies 3 in 2010.

Contact Tom Patrick at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mobile vaccine team Team Balto practises vaccine clinic set-up and teardown at Vanier Catholic Secondary School. Mobile vaccine teams are heading out this week to the communities in order to begin Moderna vaccinations. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Mobile vaccine teams begin community vaccinations

“It’s an all-of-government approach”

The now empty lot at 410 Cook Street in Whitehorse on Jan. 19. As developers move forward with plans for a housing development that would feature 16 micro-units, they are asking city council for a zoning change that would reduce the number of required parking spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Developer asks for zoning change

Would reduce the number of required parking spaces

The Liard First Nation is preparing to enter negotiations for self-governance with the territorial and federal governments. (Jackie Hong/Yukon News file)
Liard First Nation preparing to enter self-governance negotiations with Yukon, federal governments

Chief Stephen Charlie seeking an agreement separate from “dead end” UFA


Wyatt’s World for Jan. 20, 2021

A Copper Ridge resident clears their driveway after a massive over night snowfall in Whitehorse on Nov. 2, 2020. Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for the Whitehorse and Haines Junction areas for Jan. 18. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Winter storm warning for Haines Junction and Whitehorse

Environment Canada says the storm will develop Monday and last until Tuesday

Gerard Redinger was charged under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> with failing to self-isolate and failing to transit through the Yukon in under 24 hours. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Man ticketed $1,150 at Wolf Creek campground for failing to self-isolate

Gerard Redinger signed a 24-hour transit declaration, ticketed 13 days later

Yukon Energy, Solvest Inc. and Chu Níikwän Development Corporation are calling on the city for a meeting to look at possibilities for separate tax rates or incentives for renewable energy projects. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Tax changes sought for Whitehorse energy projects

Delegates call for separate property tax category for renewable energy projects

Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New members named to Yukon U’s board of governors

Required number of board members now up to 17

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

The Fish Lake area viewed from the top of Haeckel Hill on Sept. 11, 2018. The Yukon government and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced they are in the beginning stages of a local area planning process for the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local area planning for Fish Lake announced

The Government of Yukon and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced in… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read