Yukon skaters leap onto Arctic Games team

In addition to competing for medals at the Gold Nugget Yukon Championships, some local figure skaters also vied for spots on the Yukon's Arctic Winter Games team last Saturday at the Takhini arena.

In addition to competing for medals at the Gold Nugget Yukon Championships, some local figure skaters also vied for spots on the Yukon’s Arctic Winter Games team last Saturday at the Takhini arena.

Twenty-four skaters competed, half of whom also tried out for the team to represent the territory at the Arctic Games in Whitehorse in March.

Representing the Yukon at the highest level of competition at the Games in the Ladies 4 division will be Bryn Hoffman and Rachel Pettitt.

At the 2010 Arctic Games in Grande Prairie, Alta., Hoffman won gold in the long program and gold in the short program, together earning her a third gold for best overall in the Ladies 3 division.

Though it will be Pettitt’s first Arctic Games, she has major games experience, having represented the Yukon at the Canada Winter Games last February in Halifax. There she came 13th overall in the pre-novice division.

Hoffman was also in Halifax, taking sixth in her short program to produce the highest finish by a Yukoner at the Games since 2003. She also took 11th in her long program to place eighth overall.

Skating for the Yukon in Ladies 3 are Kelcy Armstrong and Maya Austin.

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Austin won bronze in the Ladies 2 long program and came seventh in the short at the 2010 Arctic Games. She also competed at the 2008 Games, finishing eighth in Ladies 1.

Armstrong came fourth in both programs in Ladies 1 at the 2010 Games.

Maria Peters and Taylor Schneider will skate in Ladies 2 while Kristin LeGrow and Marika Kitchen will compete in Ladies 1. It will be the first major Games for all four of the Ladies 1 and 2 skaters.

Most of the Team Yukon skaters were medal winners as well on Saturday.

Pettitt and Hoffman finished first and second respectively in the competitive creative event while Armstrong was first in senior creative, ahead of LeGrow in second and sister Kayla Armstrong in third.

Tessa Moore took gold in junior creative, beating out second place’s Kaitlyn LeGrow and third’s Landyn Blisner.

Kelcy Armstrong was also tops in the introductory interpretive competition. Finishing second was Dawson’s Brea Christie and Morgan Madden in third.

Mikayla Kramer, who at nine was too young to try for the Games team, took first in the preliminary freeskate, ahead of Team Yukon’s Kitchen.

Dawson’s Christie took the junior bronze freeskate event, less than a point in front of Peters in second and Schneider in third.

Also skating at the event was Michael Sumner, becoming the first Special Olympics competitor to skate at the championships in over five years. He will be representing the Yukon at the Special Olympics Canada National Winter Games this February in St. Albert, Alta.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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