STARskate championship a great experience for Ali VanHoof



–With a good experience behind her at the 2013 Skate Ontario STARskate Championship held in the Fort Erie Leisureplex, March 23-24, local figure skater Ali VanHoof says she expects she will put together new free skate and interpretive programs to prepare for next year’s skating.

VanHoof was among the 12 top Ontario skaters who competed in the Silver Women Triathlon at the championship. She placed 10th overall.

She did not have skates that she was happy with in either the Skills or the Interpretive portion of her Triathlon, however, she did a very solid Freeskate for a third place finish in that category.

“Though Ali had a small bobble in her first program, the skills component, she fought back with a good interpretive program and a very solid Freeskate,” says coach Louise Dimmick.

“Just having earned the opportunity to represent Eastern Ontario at the Skate Ontario Starskate Championship was a great achievement,” adds Dimmick. “The experience Ali gained from this competition was invaluable, an excellent reward for all her hard work and motivation for the future.”

“I am very proud of her for all that she’s overcome and accomplished.”

What Ali overcame and accomplished was little more than she had expected late last summer when she started her training, and developing new programs with the goal of qualifying at EOSIC in the Triathlon event to go to the STARskate Championship.

All was on track until she injured her ankle at a competition in late September. The injury kept her off the ice for five weeks and limited what she could do for another three weeks when she returned.

“So her 4.5 month pre-competition preparation times was cut in half,” said Dimmick. “With only just over two months to get back into competition shape, we were faced with a daunting challenge.”

VanHoof met the challenge and her dedication and hard work paid off at the Eastern Ontario Sectional championship when she placed second overall to earn her spot at the STARskate Championship.

At EOSIC she was fourth after the Skills portion of the Triathlon with a personal best skate and then in the Interpretive, which is admittedly the weakest part of her Triathlon, she shattered her previous scoring to finish fifth and move into third place overall.

She then skated into Freeskate, her strongest event, for a first place finish and the resulting second place Ontario STARskate qualifying position.

“It was  a hard road, but Alisha really demonstrated that hard work and perseverance do pay off,” said Dimmick after Ali’s EOSIC performance. “I am proud of what she has accomplished as a person and a skater.”

Ali says she will be back in the hunt for a spot at the STARskate championship in the upcoming 2013-14 season. She too admits the experience at the Ontario final was great and that, “I was a bit nervous.”

“It included the top three skaters from each region in Ontario, so I saw what kind of skaters are out there from the other regions.”

Ali says she will take a bit of a break from her skating over the summer and she expects she will work on some changes to her free and interpretive programs.

Her current Freeskate program includes five double jumps, two double double combinations, a double Lutz and a third jump combination, Axel and loop. She performs three spins, including a deathdrop flying spin and two combinations which include difficult variations.

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