2012 Tubie photos
For Morrisburg and District figure skater Ali VanHoof, it’s been a season of ups and downs. But with a hugely solid performance behind her at the, February 15-17, EOSIC at Whitby, Ontario, the 16 year old, grade 10 student at Seaway District High School is exactly where she wanted to be when it started…training for the upcoming 2013 Ontario Starskate Championships in Fort Erie, Ontario.
For a period of several weeks last fall, Ali’s hope of qualifying at EOSIC for a spot at the Ontario Championship wasn’t looking good.
“Ali started her season by training over the summer (2012), developing new programs with the goal of qualifying at EOSIC in the Triathlon event to go on to the Skate Ontario StarSkate Championship,” explains her coach Louise Dimmick. “It all seemed on track until she suffered an injury to her ankle warming up at a competition at the end of September. That kept her off the ice for five weeks, and limited her as to what she could practice for an additional three weeks once she came back.”
It resulted in her planned 4.5 month pre-competition preparation time being cut in half.
“She had just over two months to get back into competition shape both physically and mentally, as well as finish the preparation and polish of four programs,” says Dimmick. “We were faced with a daunting challenge.”
But, says Dimmick, “it is amazing what can be accomplished by the human spirit with perseverance and support.”
Despite the injury-plagued season, Van Hoof worked hard and her results were impressive at the Eastern Ontario Section Inter Club event (EOSIC) in Whitby, which allowed her to qualify for the upcoming Ontario Starskate competition from March 22-24.
The Triathlon is a three part event with skaters competing in Skills, Interpretive and Freeskating.
Ali started the Triathlon at EOSIC with a personal best skate in her Skills program. “She demonstrated good edges, turns and spirals and filled the boardless ice surface with her speed and power,” says Dimmick.
Her performance put her in fourth place with only 1/100th of a point separating her from third spot going into the Interpretive program.
“Her Interpretive program, admittedly her weakest part of the Triathlon, was the true breakthrough of the weekend,” says Dimmick explaining that Interpretive requires that the skater communicate a theme to the audience through performing skating moves to music.
“Cleopatra’s Conquest was a fitting theme for Ali this season as it signifies the fight and determination she has demonstrated in order to challenge for her goals given the obstacles she has faced.”
In skating her Interpretive, Ali shattered her previous score by over 12 points to earn a fifth place finish in the Interpretive segment. This moved her into third place with her strongest event, Freeskate, yet to come.
“I knew going into the Triathlon that the Freeskate would be my strongest. I knew that it could be the one that could lift me up,” says Ali. “I was fairly confident going in, but after I was finished I knew there were a few things I could have done better. I felt that I had skated well enough though to be in the top somewhere.”
And indeed she had. An excellent performance placed her first in the Freeskate segment and landed her an overall second place finish in the Silver Triathlon Event to qualify for this month’s Ontario Starskate Championship.
During her EOSIC Freeskate, VanHoof landed five double jumps, two double, double combinations, a double lutz and a third jump combination-Axel plus loop.
She performed three great spins including a death drop flying spin and two combinations which included difficult variations.
As for the upcoming Starskate Championship, VanHoof says she is now training hard. “I’m going to try to add to my Interpretive, and I am working on cleaner turns in my skills.”
“I am trying to up my mark a bit in all of my programs.”
Ali has been skating since she was a wee tot. She is a very motivated skater and works very hard. She successfully balances her skating with her school studies, school athletics and a part-time job.
She is one of only a few local skaters to earn the opportunity to skate at provincial levels.
The Seaway D.H.S. Spartans picked up a pair of S.D.&G. basketball wins over the visiting North Dundas Devils last Wednesday. In junior play, the Spartans led throughout the game, 18-5 at the half for the 38-27 win. Top Spartan shooter was Jane Van Moorsel with 14 points. Maggie Wells had eight points. In senior action, it was a different story as the Spartans trailed through the first half, 10-6 at the quarter and 22-14 at the half. They re-grouped for the game’s second half and were successful in shutting down the Devils’ top shooter Julia Wouters as they worked their way to a 40-38 victory. In the first half of the game, Wouters counted 13 points, throwing three, three pointers, but in the second the Spartans held her to just seven points as they edged ahead 28-26 at the end of three quarters. They came out strong in the final and just two minutes in were up 36-29. It was a tight finish, but Seaway held on for the 40-38 win. Tiffany Roskell dropped 18 Spartan points while Shannon Van Moorsel added 10. Christyn Veinotte counted six, Danielle Quenneville four and Danielle Whitteker two. Wouters had 20 points for the Devils. Pictured top are junior Spartans, l-r Teisha Mullin #15, Sierra Swindells #22, Ashley Whitteker #3, Maggie Wells #50 and Courtney Moreau #5. The Devils top, l-r are Kelsey Byers #23, Megan Derick #33, Calla Brugmans #10, Brianna Melon. In action this week, the Spartans were again victorious. Monday they hosted Char-Lan. The junior Spartans won their match 33-11, while the seniors picked up a 39-21 victory.
“We had fun.” That expression by player Jack Cole sums up the Morrisburg Combines performance at the Canada Senior Games in Edmonton from August 27-29.
Each game was close, but the Combines lost all four.
The 2014 version of the Canadian Senior Games attracted over 2000 participants setting for itself a new record in attendance.
The Morrisburg Combines qualified for the Canadian Games by winning a hockey gold medal in the 2013 Ontario Senior Games in the 65-plus age division.
“This national event itself was a quite a big, well-organized deal with impressive opening and closing events, quality entertainment and darn good food,” says Jake Cole of Ottawa who was enjoying his first time at the games with the Combines.
Accompanied by several of the players’ wives, the Combines made some noise both on and off the ice.”
“It was super encouraging to hear the cheers from our fans when we scored or goalie Les McAllister made a great save,” says Cole. “It was also a fine time of laughing and teasing during the dressing room time before and after each game. In fact, as most old timers players will undoubtedly agree, hockey dressing room banter has basically not changed since we were teenagers, with the same corny jokes and everyone taunting and poking fun at each other mercilessly.”
The Combines arrived in Edmonton as a team that had only played together for four exhibition games back home.
“We learned that our competition had been playing regularly all summer and also that they had played together for years. Right away, we could tell we were up against some very good hockey teams.”
The Combines first game was against the Rocky Mountain Elks. The Elks scored first, but the Combines recovered to tie it. Alberta went up 3-1 with the Combines getting a late one back and then pulling goaltender Les McAllister only to have their goalie make a terrific save off Fern Gauvreau in the dying seconds to preserve the 3-2 win.
The second game put the Combines against Calgary’s Jeff Bowles, “a team that seemed to know just how far to bend the rules without getting penalized” says Cole. Bowles got some early goals and the Combines never really got going until near the end, losing 5-2.
The Combines final two games were close, with leads see-sawing back and forth but they lost both games identical 4-2 scores to the Elks and to Bowles. The Bowles team won the championship with a 5-2 victory over the Elks.
The Combines’ tournament scoring leaders were Lester Holmes and Jack Haines (who scored an outstanding goal on a howitzer-like shot in the Combines last game).
Special recognition was given to Combines defencemen, Bryan Helmer, Alvin Darling, Wally Ryan, and Ron Alguire, who, along with Les McAllister kept out many potential goals and basically kept the team in every game.
The “Combines”, are now a 65-plus team (with players up to 78 years old) that been competing in the Senior Games, at the provincial and national levels since 2000.
While never winning gold nationally, the team has won several provincial titles and expects to be back competing again next February in Haliburton, Ontario for another provincial gold.