Heartbeaters fail to place at nationals

The Takhini Heartbeaters skipping team has reached the end of their rope -- until next season.

The Takhini Heartbeaters skipping team has reached the end of their rope—until next season.

The team concluded the season by taking part in the Canadian Rope Skipping Federation National Championship in Abbotsford, BC, over the weekend. Competing against 14 other teams from throughout Canada, the Heartbeaters failed to place in the top five.

The Heartbeaters were part of a joint BC/Yukon team, which consisted of 88 members.

“We all wear the same outfit and we’re the only team that does that,” said Heartbeaters head coach Judy Ratcliffe. “The teams from Ontario came as separate teams.”

That is not the Heartbeaters’ only departure from the norm. The Yukon branch of the team is the only school-based group, coming out of Takhini Elementary, with all other skippers representing regional teams.

“All of them are city-run clubs,” said Ratcliffe. “(For example) anyone in Hamilton can join the Hamilton Hoppers.”

Two Heartbeaters also competed in the individual event.

Veteran team member Alex Schultz, skipping in her last competition with the Heartbeaters, not only set a personal best in all four events for a 10th-place finish, in the double-under she almost trippled her previous best, completing 294 rotations in 2:45.

“The longest she ever lasted here was just over a minute,” said Ratcliffe. “It used to be you went until you stopped. There was one boy who did over a thousand—he lasted over 15-minutes. Because of that they changed the rule to a maximum of three-minutes.

“She’s such a competitor she just rose to the occasion. That was awesome.

“She’s been coming with me since she was in Grade 3. So it was a little bit of a sad farewell for her, thinking it was her last competition.”

Teammate Alysa Wiens, who also competed individually, unfortunately failed to set a personal best. Her results are unknown at this time.

“You have to qualify to do individual events, and they only got to do them because they were alternates,” said Ratcliffe. “The hosting province gets to let their alternates skip.”

For the team event Shultz and Wiens were joined by teammates Misty MacFarlane, Kimberly Dickson and Ellysse Dunstan.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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