The Kelowna Skating Club and BMO Kelowna Centre for Skating Excellence made history while playing host to the 2012 Skate Canada B.C. and Yukon Sectional Championships from Nov. 10 to 13.
Serving as both the provincial championships and a qualifying event for the Skate Canada Challenge, the event featured top skaters from B.C. and Yukon, including national champions and International/World competitors.
The Kelowna club made a tremendous and mathematically improbable impact, as local skaters captured 10 out of a possible 16 medals to qualify spots for women’s singles events at the Challenge event, to be held at Regina Nov. 30 to Dec. 4.
“Getting the 10 spots still seems hard to believe”, said KSC Director Jason Mongrain. “After taking seven spots last year, it felt as though it would be very difficult to match that—so obviously three more is just incredible, even though we were very close to getting a couple more. B.C. is just so, so tough in terms of the quality and depth of the skaters and the relatively few qualifying spots, making for very high-pressure events. We had other skaters in the top 10 that have the skills to be top 10 in the country.”
Saturday finals saw Kelowna’s Cambria Little skate a clean and inspired free program to capture the Senior Women’s title with a personal best total of 121.60 points. Club mate Morgan Jmaiff took the bronze medal and a qualifying spot with 108.29.
The Pre-Novice Women’s event had four Kelowna skaters finishing in the top eight in a tough field of 61 competitors. Julianne Delaurier and Monika Randall finished second and third, respectively, in qualifying for the nationals at Regina. Priscilla Sabang narrowly missed qualifying with a fifth place finish and is the BC/YT Team alternate. Julianne also won the event Artistic Award.
Kelly Basisty also just missed qualifying for the Nationals with a total of 67.69 points and fifth overall, leaving him as the alternate in the Pre-Novice Men’s event. He finished just 0.14 points shy of fourth place.
Sunday finals featured Kelowna skaters in Junior Women and Novice Women.
At the Junior Level, all 3 Kelowna entries won qualifying berths to the Challenge event. Kelsey Wiebe won the silver medal with 108.52 points to earn her fourth straight BC/YT Team spot. Desiree Schaefer placed second in the free program and third overall with 108.10, while Makayla Randall moved up from sixth in the short program to a fourth place finish overall.
The highly successful week ended with a bang with the Novice Women’s event, which showcased a very talented and deep field of triple jumpers and national competitors.
Fourteen year-old Jayda Jurome won both of her segments to win the title with a B.C. Novice record 111.26 points and the Artistic Award. Training mate Cailey England stormed back after a sixth place short program to score 102.26 points, en route to a third place finish overall. Kelowna’s Haley Sales skated two entertaining programs, taking fourth place and the pewter medal—the 10th medal of the Kelowna haul.