Yukon skater Hoffman, partner score high a grand prix

Whitehorse figure skater Bryn Hoffman and pairs partner Bryce Chudak scored three personal bests in just two skates last week.

Whitehorse figure skater Bryn Hoffman and pairs partner Bryce Chudak scored three personal bests in just two skates last week.

The pairs skaters posted career-high scores in both skates for a combined PB to place fourth at the International Skating Union’s Junior Grand Prix in Colorado Springs, Colo.

It was good timing. The ISU event was the team’s very first international competition – their first representing Canada.

“It was exciting. It was quite overwhelming,” said Hoffman. “I was really nervous heading in the short and the free. It just seemed like a big deal that we were representing our country and it was a new experience for both Bryce and I.

“We were both nervous and we really wanted to do well because we knew there was a chance we could go to Europe to compete at another one. It was really fun, but it was also really nerve-wracking.”

Hoffman, 18, and Chudak, 20, placed fifth in the short program with 45.24 on Thursday. They then landed in fourth in Saturday’s free skate with 84.10 for a combined score of 129.34.

To give an idea of how much they have improved during the off-season, Hoffman and Chudak claimed seventh at the 2015 National Skating Championships in January with a combined score of 106.28.

Still, Hoffman believes they can do even better.

“I honestly wasn’t super happy with either of our programs, how I skated in particular,” said Hoffman. “The throws in both programs were my best and the throws are some of our best elements. I just go really nervous, I guess.

“But overall, I’m really happy with it. It was really good for our first international.”

“My tendency when I get nervous is to get super tight and go quickly, and in throws you have to do the opposite,” she added.

Russian pairs took first and third while a pair of Americans took second in Colorado.

Hoffman and Chudak, who is from Rocky Mountain House, Alta., placed ahead of another Russian team in fifth and a South Korean team in sixth, in the field of eight pairs teams.

As for earning a spot in a European competition, they did just that. With their performances Hoffman and Chudak qualified for another ISU Junior Grand Prix later this month in Torun, Poland.

“We found out yesterday that we are going,” said Hoffman on Wednesday.

This season is Hoffman and Chudak’s third together. They train at the National Pairs Training Centre in Calgary where Hoffman studies at the University of Calgary.

Last week’s Grand Prix was their second competition so far this season. The two placed seventh out of 16 teams at the 2015 Skate Detroit in Michigan in July.

“We didn’t skate our best there,” said Hoffman.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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