Pettitt skates to silver at Autumn Leaves

Whitehorse Arctic Edge skater Rachel Pettitt was going it alone over the weekend.

Whitehorse Arctic Edge skater Rachel Pettitt was going it alone over the weekend.

In her first competition without her coach and mother, Trish Pettitt, present, the 13-year-old figure skater nonetheless won silver in pre-novice women at Skate B.C.‘s Autumn Leaves in Kamloops.

“That was kind of weird for me, not having my mom at the competition,” said the younger Pettitt.

For the silver, she placed third in the short program and first in the long.

Boosting her performance were triples in both of her programs. Pettitt had triples in both programs for the first time three weeks ago at a competition in Regina, where she won bronze, but this time they were cleaner. She also landed both her double-axels in her long program.

“I think that was actually the first time they were both good, landed double-axels in a competition,” said Pettitt.

“And to increase the difficulty in her short, she’s added two double-axels,” said her mother. “All her jumps in her short (program) are more difficult, so it’s really been good for her.

“In both programs she landed them, got full rotation and got credit for them… At this level their looking to see if you have full rotation… She didn’t land them clean, but her goal was to make sure they’re in there and she did them.”

Pettitt’s next competition is the Skate Canada’s BC/YT Sectional Championships, the biggest competition of the season for Arctic Edge skaters, in November. Last year Pettitt placed seventh in the pre-novice women’s division at the event.

“I’m keeping my routine the same,” said Pettitt. “We might add another triple. It depends on how it goes in practice. I’m feeling pretty good about that so maybe we can add another triple. That would be nice.”

Speaking of practice, Pettitt is currently training with the Kelowna Figure Skating Club in B.C.

“I like it down here for the competitive training season,” said Pettitt. “I like training down here with the coaches and the skaters are good. It really helps me. It’s a good environment down here.”

Pettitt started the season with back-to-back gold medals, taking first at the Super Series Victoria Day Competition in May, followed by first at SummerSkate in August.

At the Arctic Winter Games in March, Pettitt won silver, behind Arctic Edge teammate Bryn Hoffman, in Ladies 4.

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