Three clubs compete at skating championship

There were plenty of reasons to be excited at the Yukon Gold Nugget Championships on Saturday at the Canada Games Centre.

There were plenty of reasons to be excited at the Yukon Gold Nugget Championships on Saturday at the Canada Games Centre.

The Yukon’s figure skating championship, hosted by the Whitehorse Arctic Edge Skating Club, had more Outside skaters compete than ever before, with six from N.W.T.‘s Inuvik Figure Skating Club and five from Alaska’s Juneau Skating Club.

The championships saw a total of 32 skaters take part, up from 24 last year. With the Alaska team at the championship, it was also an international event for just the second time.

“This competition is really about highlighting some of the younger, up-and-coming skaters in our club,” said Cheryl Van Blaricom, Arctic Edge’s vice-president. “This helps develop them by giving them experience competing.”

The competition also saw two male skaters take part, which was a first, as far as anyone could remember.

Jackson Ellis, 8, from Milton, Ontario, came over with the Inuvik team and Whitehorse’s Michael Sumner also gave an exhibition skate.

Sumner’s presence at the event also meant a Canadian national team was represented at the championship.

Sumner will be representing Canada at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, early next year.

He made the national team after capturing gold in Level 1 at the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in March.

Sumner was the first male Yukon figure skater to medal at a national Games and, consequently, will be the first male figure skater from the Yukon to compete at the World Winter Games.

The championship was also the first with STARSkate, a new program the B.C./Yukon section is piloting for Skate Canada.

STAR, which stands for Skills, Tests, Achievement and Recognition, is a nationally standardized testing system. It places more emphasis on skill-development than competition. In the system, skaters are scored and awarded on their performances, but are not ranked against each other.

“The goal is to get kids training more, to introduce them to competition slowly, but really getting them to develop their skills before they begin competing formally,” said Van Blaricom. “They grade them, opposed to against each other – first, second and third. They do it to a standard, a gold, silver or bronze standard. So they could be several golds or several silvers or several bronze.”

Arctic Edge’s Mikayla Kramer, 10, was happy to take gold in STAR 4 for skaters under 13.

“It went well,” said Kramer. “I landed my double-sal and I got more points than I had (last) December.”

Arctic Edge skaters will soon be getting pointers from some former national champs.

Canadian Olympians Anabelle Langlois and Cody Hay, who competed together in pair skating at the 2010 Olympic Games, are coming up from Calgary to hold a two-day of seminar Jan. 3-4.

“I don’t often see the younger skaters train on a day-to-day basis, and Tessa Moore was one skater I thought that really stood out and is really a strong and up-and-coming skater,” added Van Blaricom of Saturday.

“Another one, of course, is Mikayla Kramer. She’s a lovely skater. What I saw with her this year was she was really developing her artistry. Her performance quality has significantly improved over last year.”




Alissa Russell (Arctic Edge) – gold

Bronwyn Hayes (Arctic Edge) – silver

Jamie Nickel (Arctic Edge) – bronze


Gabriella Sloan (Juneau) – silver

Lovell Simon (Inuvik) – silver

Emilie Perrault (Arctic Edge) – silver

Megahn Bimingham (Arctic Edge) – bronze

Michaela DeCook (Arctic Edge) – bronze

Lenneah Timmermans (Arctic Edge) – bronze

STAR 3 Boys

Jackson Ellis (Inuvik) – gold


Emma Jesson (Juneau) – gold

Alyssa Cuenza (Arctic Edge) – silver

Landyn Blisner (Arctic Edge) – silver

Tessa Moore (Arctic Edge) – silver

Katherine Fritsch (Juneau) – silver

Meredith Fritsch (Juneau) – silver


Maya Krizan (Inuvik) – gold

Abigail Cuenza (Arctic Edge) – bronze

Marika Kitchen (Arctic Edge) – bronze

STAR 4 under 13

Mikayla Kramer (Arctic Edge) – gold

Winter Ross (Arctic Edge) – silver

STAR 4 over 13

Annika Krizan (Inuvik) – gold

Morgan Madden (Arctic Edge) – silver

Jenelle Clethero (Arctic Edge) – bronze

Senior bronze

Rachel Waters (Inuvik) – gold

Kelcy Armstrong (Arctic Edge) – silver

Juvenile exhibition skate

Laurie Balstad (Juneau)

Novice exhibition skate

Bryn Hoffman (Arctic Edge)

Preliminary elements

Emma Jessen (Juneau) – gold

Lovelle Simon (ISC) – silver

Katherine Fritsch (Juneau) – bronze

Bronze elements

Winter Ross (Inuvik) – gold

Mikayla Kramer (Arctic Edge) – silver

Annika Krizan (Inuvik) – bronze

Silver elements

Laurie Balstad (Juneau) – gold

Rachel Waters (Inuvik) – silver

Kelcy Armstrong (Arctic Edge) – bronze

Gold elements exhibition skate

Bryn Hoffman (Arctic Edge)

Introductory interpretive

Tessa Moore (Arctic Edge) – gold

Meredith Fritsch (Juneau) – silver

Gabriella Sloan (Juneau) – bronze

Bronze interpretive

Laurie Balstad (Juneau) – gold

Jenelle Clethero (Arctic Edge) – silver

Special Olympics exhibition skate

Michael Sumner (Arctic Edge)

Junior creative

Emma Jessen (Juneau) – gold

Meghan Burmingham (Arctic Edge) – silver

Michaela DeCook (Arctic Edge) – bronze

Senior A creative

Mikayla Kramer (Ar ctic Edge) – gold

Zoey Krause (Arctic Edge) – silver

Senior B creative

Bryn Hoffman (Arctic Edge) – gold

Laurie Balstad (Arctic Edge) – silver

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.