Rachel Pettitt doesn’t spend much time skating on frozen ponds these days, but she certainly spends plenty of time on podiums.
With her latest success, at the B.C./Yukon Section Championships a little over a week ago in Prince George, the Arctic Edge figure skater placed first in B.C. Skating’s season-long Pond to Podium Super Series.
“I feel pretty good,” said Pettitt. “I did well in my past competitions and they’re just awarding me for competing well.”
Pettitt secured the Super Series win, which takes a skater’s best three results from six specific competitions over the season, with a silver in novice women, scoring 104.47, just 1.13 behind gold.
The 15-year-old, who was the first Yukon skater to win the Super Series competition in 2012, also captured gold at the Super Series Victoria Day competition in May and gold the Autumn Leaves competition in October. She started the year with gold at the B.C. Coast Region Championships WinterSkate in February.
By placing in the top-four at sections, she also qualified for the Skate Canada Challenge, the qualifying event for the national championships, at the start of December in Montreal. She placed fourth at Challenge in 2012 for the best-ever finish by a Yukon skater.
“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 of sections. “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.”
Following her performance at sections, Pettitt was given the Artistic Award for her programs’ choreography and skating skills.
Also at the section competition 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.”
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.
“I’m super excited,” said Pettitt. “I had so much fun when I first went, and I was so young, so it was a huge experience for me. I feel like I’m ready to place, hopefully, at Canada Games and skate well, as well as it being an awesome experience. The first time I wasn’t prepared to place anywhere high.
“I get to go with Team Yukon and it’ll be so much fun.”
Contact Tom Patrick