HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA
Some last-minute tweaking of the routine, a new spin, and, of course, skill, have put Yukon figure skater Bryn Hoffman in eighth place at the Canada Winter Games this week in Halifax.
Competing in the pre-novice division, the 13-year-old took 11th in the long program competition on Wednesday to finish the Games. Combined with a sixth-place result in the short program on Monday, the two together gave Hoffman the highest finish by a Yukoner since the 2003 Games in New Brunswick.
“I thought it was cool because I finished top-10 at the Canada Games, and when I came here my goal was to get in the middle of the pack, and I did that,” said Hoffman. “I was really happy and kind of surprised because I didn’t expect to finish that well.”
Other than cutting short a double-double combination, Hoffman’s performance was clean from start to finish.
“So there were a couple of things, but other than that, it was pretty good,” said Hoffman. “Both my double-lutzes were pretty good in that program.”
Yukon teammate Rachel Pettitt made up a lot of lost ground in her long program. Having finished 17th in her short, making a small blunder coming out of a double-double combination, Pettitt moved up five spots in her long, finishing 13th overall in pre-novice.
A couple firsts for Pettitt made the difference.
Not only did she land all three of her combinations – a first for competition – she landed her first double-axel in competition as well.
“It was great, I had a great skate,” said Pettitt. “It was my first time in competition with my double-axel. It was a little cheated, but I still got it. I was really happy for that.
“Compared to the short (program) I was a lot calmer. Even in my warm-up I could tell that I was calmer going into it.”
Skating up a group in the novice ladies division, Yukon’s Teneil Caron finished 15th in both skates for 15th overall on Thursday.
Like Pettitt, Caron, who was in her second Canada Games, was hoping to land her first double-axel in competition. However, this time it was not in the cards.
“It felt like it went well,” said Caron. “I fell on it, but I feel like I had fully rotated, or mostly rotated. It felt like one of my good take-offs and good double-axels that I’ve tried.
“The crowd was really supportive of every single competitor,” she added. “It wasn’t just for Nova Scotia, it was for everybody.”
In her first Arctic Winter Games, Hoffman finished third in Ladies 2 and two years later won gold in Ladies 3 last March. In her first competition back after a broken leg sustained during practice in the summer, Hoffman won a gold and silver at the Jingle Blades Competition in White Rock, BC, at the end of November.
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