Pettitt qualifies for Canadian Challenge with silver at sections

In 2012 Rachel Pettitt placed fourth at the Skate Canada Challenge for the best finish by a Yukoner at the national competition. She'll now try to improve on that next month.

In 2012 Rachel Pettitt placed fourth at the Skate Canada Challenge for the best finish by a Yukoner at the national competition.

She’ll now try to improve on that next month.

The 15-year-old member of Yukon’s Arctic Edge Skating Club qualified for Challenge with a top-four performance at the 2015 B.C./Yukon Section Championships over the weekend in Prince George.

Pettitt won silver in novice women with a combined score of 104.47, just 1.13 behind gold.

“I’m pretty excited. I was a little disappointed with my skate in my short program,” said Pettitt. “I nailed my first jump – my triple toe, double toe – and I went to skate forward and I tripped, like doing nothing. So I lost a point there. It just wasn’t my best skate.”

For the silver Pettitt took first in the long and third in the short out of 19 skaters.

Last year she placed sixth at sections and missed a spot at Challenge.

“I had a pretty good long program … and I was one point away from first overall, so that was a little bit of a bummer,” said Pettitt. “But I’m happy I get to move on to Challenge and hopefully I can do good there.”

“I’m super excited,” she added. “(Challenge) is in three weeks and if I place top 18 there I move to Canadians.”

Also at the competition over the weekend was fellow Arctic Edge figure skater Mikayla Kramer.

The 12-year-old placed 28th out of 43 skaters in pre-novice women with a combined score of 59.32.

“I felt like I had good skates, but I had some flawed elements that brought me down because everything was really close – brought me down like 10 spots,” said Kramer. “But I was still happy with my short program and fairly happy with my long. But I know I could have skated better … after a competition I always feel like I have room to improve, that I can do it, and I have a boost of energy.”

This past weekend won’t be the only time the two skate in Prince George.

The sections competition was also Yukon’s qualifying event for the Canada Winter Games this February in Prince George. Pettitt and Kramer will be Yukon’s two skaters at the quadrennial Games.

“I feel like it was a good learning experience because at Canada Winter Games … I won’t make those mistakes again,” said Kramer.

“I feel good, confident – I just have to stay focused. I know it’s just for fun and it’s going to be a great experience. I want to show what I can do.”

It won’t be the first time they represent the territory at a major Games. Kramer represented Yukon at the Arctic Winter Games this past March in Fairbanks and placed sixth overall in Ladies 3 division.

Pettitt won two silver and a bronze for Yukon at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games. At the age of just 11, Pettitt also competed at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax, taking 13th in pre-novice.

The Skate Canada Challenge, which is the qualifier for the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, will take place in Montreal early in December.

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