By Lisa Skubovius
Five Fernie figure skaters got a great jump on their competitive season by participating in late-October events, with two of them earning medals.
Ava Hozjan, Emma Morgan, and Alexandra Stephenson travelled to Chilliwack for the Super Series Autumn Leaves event which brought together skaters from all over the province. Over the same weekend, Emma Nieuwesteeg and Gabrielle Runzer ventured to Alberta for the Edmonton Region Invitational competition.
“All of the skaters did well for their first competition of the season,” said Fernie Skating Club coach Deb Joseph. “We’re off to a great start and looking forward to another successful season of skating and competing.”
Twelve-year-old Hozjan, winner of the BC/Yukon Super Series Star 4 category last season, skated her way to a silver medal in the Pre-Juvenile Ladies event, receiving a personal best score of 24.58.
Nieuwesteeg, also 12 years old, took home gold in the Juvenile Ladies event with a score of 30.00, which was more than 2.5 points beyond the silver medallist’s score — a fairly substantial difference at this level.
Skaters are marked using the Cumulative Points Calculation (CPC) system, which awards them specific marks for various jumps and spins, as well as for their overall skating skills, interpretation of the music, performance, execution and other criteria.
With this system, skaters can track their own progress throughout the season as well as trying to outrank their competitors. Always shooting for a personal best score, the dedicated young athletes are ever-mindful of how points are gained and lost.
“They’re always working towards and aiming for a higher score with every competition, and to do that they need to know the scoring system inside out,” Joseph explained.
Training five or six days a week, Nieuwesteeg and Runzer will do all they can to record personal best scores when they represent the Fernie Skating Club at the Skate Canada BC-Yukon Sectional Championships from November 7 to 10 in Richmond.
“Gabby and Emma are such hard workers, and we’re hoping that work will pay off at Sectionals,” Joseph elaborated.
For Runzer, who competes in Novice Ladies, a top four showing at Sectionals could mean a trip to the Skate Canada Challenge competition, and another strong finish there would mean skating in the national championships.