Skaters show progress at Gold Nugget championships

With programs CanSkate and STAR, there was an emphasis on skill development at the Yukon Gold Nugget Interclub Competition last weekend.

With programs CanSkate and STAR, there was an emphasis on skill development at the Yukon Gold Nugget Interclub Competition last weekend.

Half of Yukon’s Arctic Edge skaters at the competition are enrolled in the CanSkate program, which is Skate Canada’s learn-to-skate project aimed at long-term athlete development.

The vast majority competed in STAR (Skills, Tests, Achievement and Recognition), a nationally standardized testing system that places an emphasis on skill-development rather than competition. In the system, skaters are scored and awarded on their performances, but are not ranked against each other.

“A lot of our focus this year was on development and the experience of performing in front of a crowd, in front of judges,” said Arctic Edge co-chair Stacey Hays.

A total of 40 skaters took part in the Gold Nugget — the Yukon figure skating championship — at the Canada Games Centre last Friday and Saturday.

Yukon was represented by 28 members of the Arctic Edge Skating Club and two from Special Olympics Yukon. Nine represented N.W.T.’s Inuvik Skating Club and one came up from Dawson Creek’s Mile Zero Skating Club. The Juneau Skating Club was unable to attend for the first time in five years.

The Arctic Edge club captured 15 gold medals, with six skaters winning more than one gold.

Alissa Russell was the only with three, taking gold in silver women interpretive, pre-juvenile women free program and STAR 7/8 elements.

Heidi Vallier was golden in creative improv Level 1 and STAR 1 girls/boys free program.

Anika Kramer took gold in STAR 3 elements and STAR 3 girls free program.

Sarah Milton pocketed gold in STAR 4 girls 13 and over free program and introductory women interpretive.

Lenneah Timmermans snatched gold in STAR 5 elements and STAR 5 women free program.

This year’s Gold Nugget kicked off with a series of tests on Friday. SOY skaters Tijana McCarthy and Michael Sumner, who have been selected to represent Canada at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games this March in Austria, each skated in two events.

McCarthy performed in elements women Level 1 and the women’s freeskate. Sumner, who won silver at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games, skated in elements men Level 2 and the men’s freeskate.

“The City of Whitehorse is really gracious every year. We get support from them through the recreation grant and it’s huge in making this possible for us,” said Hays. “It’s a small competition if you compare it to B.C., but for our skaters it’s a big part of their years — it’s a highlight. They have so much fun, but they also get so much experience.”

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

Results

Elements women Level 1

Tijana McCarthy (SOY)

Elements men Level 2

Michael Sumner (SOY)

Women freeskate

Tijana McCarthy (SOY)

Men’s freeskate

Michael Sumner (SOY)

STAR 2 elements

Silver — Pearl Gillis (ISC)

Silver — Myja Semmler (ISC)

Silver — Myla Turner (AESC)

Silver — Kiona Vallier (AESC)

STAR 3 elements

Gold — Anika Kramer (AESC)

STAR 4 elements

Gold — Queenie Lu (AESC)

STAR 5 elements

Gold — Lenneah Timmermans (AESC)

Gold — Mikayla McCain (AESC)

STAR 7/8 elements

Gold — Alissa Russell (AESC)

Silver — Bronwyn Hays (AESC)

Bronze — Jamie Nickel (AESC)

STAR 1 girls/ boys free program

Gold — Heidi Vallier (AESC)

Silver — Anastazia Stuart-Cockney (ISC)

Silver — FitzGerald Stuart-Cockney (ISC)

Bronze — Lotus Scott (ISC)

Merit — Madison Heighington (MZSC)

STAR 2 girls free program

Bronze — Myla Turner (AESC)

Bronze — Kiona Vallier (AESC)

STAR 3 girls free program

Gold — Anika Kramer (AESC)

STAR 4 girls U13 free program

Gold — Chloe VanLankveld (AESC)

Silver — Queenie Lu (AESC)

STAR 4 girls 13 & over free program

Gold — Sarah Milton (AESC)

Silver — Natalie Austin (AESC)

STAR 5 women free program

Gold — Lenneah Timmermans (AESC)

Silver — Mikayla McCain (AESC)

Pre-juvenile women free program

Gold — Alissa Russell (AESC)

Silver — Bronwyn Hays (AESC)

Bronze — Jamie Nickel (AESC)

Pre-introductory women interpretive

Silver — Myla Turner (AESC)

Introductory women interpretive

Gold — Sarah Milton (AESC)

Silver — Chloe VanLankveld (AESC)

Bronze women interpretive

Gold — Natalie Austin (AESC)

Silver women interpretive

Gold — Alissa Russell (AESC)

Silver — Bronwyn Hays (AESC)

Bronze — Jamie Nickel (AESC)

Creative improv Level 1

Gold — Heidi Vallier (AESC)

Silver — Lotus Scott (ISC)

Bronze — Anastazia Stuart-Cockney (ISC)

Bronze — FitzGerald Stuart-Cockney (ISC)

Merit — Angeliki Esau-Minakis (ISC)

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