Via the Milton Canadian Champion
Thanks to strong finishes at the Skate Canada Challenge in Edmonton, four Milton Skating Club competitive figure skaters will be heading to the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships next month.
Madeline Schizas and Natalie Walker, both 15, will represent Ontario in the Junior Ladies category. Lia Pereira, 13 in the Novice Ladies and Jackson Ellis, 13 in the Novice Men’s event.
Competing against forty-two skaters from across the country, Schizas earned the bronze medal in Edmonton. The Grade 10 student skated her long program to music from ‘Miss Saigon’, impressing the judges with both her artistry and her technical skills to take the podium.
“It was exciting” she says. “It was my first national medal and I want another one in January”.
Schizas is particularly happy to have landed her first clean ‘triple flip’ jump in competition, one of only a handful of seen in Edmonton. “It is one of the most difficult jumps and it is a risk, but I felt confident I had trained hard enough to pull it off” she says.
Walker, who was the silver medallist at the recent Ontario Sectionals qualifying event, finished in twelfth place in Edmonton. After a very strong short program earning her a personal best, she followed but with her long program performed to the music of ‘La La Land’.
“I felt very happy that my hard work had paid off” says the Grade 10 student at Oakville Trafalgar High School. “Now I can’t wait to get to Nationals and get the chance to compete again.”
With 3 bonus points for triple jumps, Lia Pereira received a personal best and sat in 2nd after her gutsy short program performance to a Jackson 5 piece. She followed that up with a solid long program and a 4th place final which allows her to book her ticket to St John along with her club mates.
“I was a little nervous for the long program so I am happy that I was able to put down a good performance and now with another chance in New Brunswick I am hoping for a podium finish”
Ellis, rounded out the group of high achievers with a personal best score of over 100 points landing triples in both his short and long programs.
“I have been aiming for 100 points all season so to get it at a national level event is very exciting” says the Milton District High Performance student.
Coach Nancy Lemaire of the Milton Skating Club says all these athletes have worked extremely hard this year. “Going to nationals is quite an accomplishment” she says. “Internationally the bar has been raised in figure skating lately with quads in both the ladies and men’s event’s. There is a lot of pressure on Canadian skaters to raise their game.
The Canadian Tire National Figure Skating Championships will be held from January 13-20, 2019 in Saint John, New Brunswick.