Excellent finishes, special moments and good times were the experiences shared by nine Morrisburg and District figure skaters at the Eastern Ontario Section Invitational Championships (EOSIC) here on the weekend.
It was the biggest MFSC team ever to compete at EOSIC and leading the team was Ali VanHoof in her first ever EOSIC Triathlon event, (skills, interpretive and free skating).
VanHoof started it off with a person best skate in skills which put her in fourth place.
Next up was what would normally be VanHoof’s weakest event…Interpretive.
This time out however, her Interpretive was “the true breakthrough of the weekend”, says her coach Louis Dimmick.
Shattering her previous score, VanHoof earned a fifth place finish in Interpretive which moved her into third place overall after two parts.
“It was exciting going into the third segment of the Triathlon sitting in third place,” says Dimmick. “This allowed Ali a chance to challenge for one of the three spots open to represent Eastern Ontario at the 2013 Skate Ontario STARskate Championships.”
“Also helping was the fact that Freeskate is Alisha’s strongest event. She still needed to put down a solid performance to succeed and succeed she did.”
Five successful double jumps, three great spins and two combinations later, and VanHoof was in first place in the Freeskate segment which gave her an overall second place finish in the Silver Triathlon Event to qualify for the upcoming Skate Ontario Championships.
Just narrowly missing out on a qualifying spot was Trina Dykstra-MacPherson, also coached by Dimmick.
Skating in Preliminary Flight 1, Dykstra-MacPherson placed first to qualify for the semi-final where she placed fifth.
“This was Trina’s second time at EOSIC, but her first time at this level,” said Dimmick. “She landed her double Salchow cleanly for the first time in competition”
“Trina skates with elegance, speed and power, and she really attacked her programs this weekend. She demonstrated a mental toughness and great competitive spirit in pulling off an excellent performance.”
At the Pre-Juvenile level, Kristyn VanHoof placed 12th with a PB performance.
“This was an exciting skate for Kristy,” says Dimmick. “It was the first time she competed on a rink without boards and, despite the different new environment, she had a great skate. Kristy landed two double Salchows and two Axels.”
“Kristyn really performed her program well, completing, not only good elements, but nice connecting steps and footwork which was reflected in her program components marks.”
Skating her first time at EOSIC was Reagan Belanger. “A very graceful skater, Reagan has great edges in her skating and good height in her jumps,” says Dimmick. “She skated well, landing all six jump elements and performing her spirals well.”
“We had an absolutely wonder time at EOSIC, and I am very proud of all of my girls for their hard work,” says coach Allison Scott.
Scott’s skaters included Erika Jordan, Abigail Jordan, Alexis Engwerda, Abby MacMillan and Gillian Beatson.
In her first time EOSIC experience, Erika placed sixth (Pre-Preliminary) with a skate described as “a beautiful clean skate, peppy and full of attack”
Abigail Jordan, also in her first EOSIC, scored a first in Preliminary Women (flight 3), and then went on to place seventh in the semi-final.
“This was a fabulous accomplishment to qualify for semi-finals her first time attending EOSIC,” said Scott. “Having to skate twice, Abigail was consistent and solid, completing both programs with two Axels and one in combination. She skated with ease, but yet was full of power and speed.”
Known for her ‘speedy attack’ with quick steps and her artistic flair in her footwork, Alexis Engwerda finished sixth in her Junior Bronze flight.
“Alexis demonstrated determination and perseverance and had a terrific skate,” says Scott.
For Abby MacMillan, it was also a sixth place finish in her Junior Bronze flight.
“Abby is known for her ability to ‘rise to the occasion’ and her smooth polished look. Abby skated with tremendous conviction and focus and completed two Axels. She had a wonderful performance.”
Also coming in with a sixth place finish was Gillian Beatson in Senior Silver Women.
“Gillian’s program is ambitious, and she successfully completed, five doubles,” says Scott. “Gillian is also known for ‘pulling off’ a double Lutz so easily (one of the toughest double jumps), and she did just that at this event, completing one in combination and one at the end of her program, an incredible feat.”
Beatson’s event was extremely close in that the sixth to third finishing positions were separated by .40 points which meant she narrowly missed a trip to the podium.