Whitehorse’s Bryn Hoffman and Albertan skating partner Bryce Chudak have achieved their first top-three results on the international stage.
The pair placed third in the short and third in the long – both with personal best scores – in junior pairs at the ISU Junior Grand Prix last week in Torun, Poland.
However, through some bedeviling mathematics, Hoffman and Chudak finished fourth overall at the International Skating Union event.
“I’m really pleased with how it went this past week,” said Hoffman. “We got personal bests in both our programs by about five points in each. It was exciting for us and I think both Bryce and I are really pleased with how we skated.”
Hoffman, 18, and Chudak, 20, scored 50.49 in the short Thursday and 91.84 in the free Friday for a combined 142.33.
They came in with just less than five points behind a Russian team that took the bronze. (The bronze finishers took fourth in the short and second in the free, the silver finishers took first and fourth, to finish ahead for Hoffman and Chudak in points.)
“In the long it was the first time in competition, I believe, that I landed both our triples – I landed our triple lutz and our throw triple loop,” said Hoffman. “The throw triple lutz wasn’t perfectly clean, but it was pretty good. It was exciting to get both of those done in competition.”
Poland was the second event in a row they posted personal best results. Earlier this month they placed fourth with a combined score of 129.34 at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Colorado was the team’s first international competition – their first representing Canada – and Poland was their first outside of North America.
“A lot of those points, over our scores in Colorado, came in our program components and our skating skills,” said Hoffman. “All three throws I missed in Colorado but in Poland I landed them all. So that was definitely one of the things that had a big improvement and that we were really happy about.”
Last week they placed ahead of two American teams, a British team, a German team, an Italian team, and Canadian teammates Hope McLean and Trennt Michaud in sixth. Russian skaters monopolized the podium.
“In terms of competition, it was a lot less nerve-wracking than our first international because we knew what to expect,” added Hoffman.
With their most recent result Chudak, who is from Rocky Mountain House, and Hoffman now sit seventh in the ISU world junior pairs rankings.
They placed seventh at the 2015 National Skating Championships in January.
The pair are now training for the 2016 Skate Canada Challenge early December in Edmonton. They are also first-alternates for the ISU Grand Prix final in Barcelona, Spain, at the same time.
“We’re just going to train for Challenge and if someone gets injured we get to go to Barcelona,” said Hoffman.
Hoffman will also compete in junior singles in the Alberta Sectionals for a chance to compete individually at Challenge as well.
This season is Hoffman and Chudak’s third together. They train at the National Pairs Training Centre in Calgary where Hoffman studies at the University of Calgary.
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