Whitehorse Arctic Edge skater Rachel Pettitt had the season-long goal of qualifying for the Skate Canada Challenge.
That being the case, her result was some serious icing on the cake.
Pettitt placed fourth in pre-novice against 55 skaters from throughout Canada at the event in Regina, Sask., over the weekend.
Her result marks the highest placement by a Yukoner at the event. Since the competition doubles as the national championships for the pre-novice division, Pettitt’s result is also the highest a Yukoner has placed at a Canadian championship.
“It was so much fun. It’s such a great competition,” said Pettitt, who went as a member of the B.C./Yukon team and was the only Yukoner at the competition. “Knowing you’re on the B.C. team and everyone is so nice – I just loved it.”
The 13-year-old took fourth overall with a third place finish in the long program and 10th in the short.
“My long was very good,” said Pettitt. “I tried not to put pressure on myself for the triple sal. I feel that’s what happened in my short – I put way too much pressure on myself. Everything went very good for me in the long. Both my double axels were good, my triple sal was good.”
Pettitt lost ground in her short when she missed her triple salchow.
“It was not my best,” said Pettitt. “I missed an element … so that missing element could be three or four points.”
Pettitt qualified for the Challenge after becoming the first Yukoner to win gold at the Skate Canada’s BC/YT Sectional Championships last month in Parksville, B.C.
The gold in Parksville also provided Pettitt with the first place spot in Skate B.C.‘s Pond to Podium Super Series.
She was the first Yukoner to win that as well.
“Winning sectionals was a plus,” said Pettitt. “All I wanted to do was make Challenge and winning sectionals boosted my confidence. It’s always nice going into a competition, a big one where you compete against (skaters from) all across Canada, and saying you won B.C. – you’re the pre-novice champion from B.C.”
Pettitt’s outstanding season also landed her the Pre-Novice Women’s Champion Okanagan Region Award and the Pre-Novice Women’s B.C. Coast Region Champion Award while at sectionals.
Pettitt secured the Super Series win, which takes a skater’s best three results from six specific competitions over the season, with three gold-medal performances this season, including sectionals.
She 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.
Pettitt also claimed her fair share of silver medals through the season.
At the Arctic Winter Games in March, Pettitt won silver in the Ladies 4 competition. She then won silver at the Vancouver Island Skate International in April.
Pettitt, who also trains at the Kelowna Figure Skating Club in B.C., won silver at Skate B.C.‘s Autumn Leaves in Kamloops in October.
“It’s the training environment,” said Pettitt of Kelowna. “On the ice everyone is always working so hard and everything. It pushes me.”
At last year’s B.C. sectionals, Pettitt finished seventh in pre-novice. With her first place result last month, she will be advancing into the novice division next season.
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com