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Sudbury skaters return from Sectionals in Thunder Bay

While a good core of the Sudbury Skating Club crew who made the long trip to Thunder Bay over the weekend, competing at Skate Canada Northern Ontario Sectionals, did so in search of a berth at the Challenge later this month in Quebec, the pre-juvenile and juvenile stream were targeting a different event altogether.

The top four skaters from those two classifications will see 35% of their score at Sectionals combined with 65% of their score at the Festival of Stars in February in Sault Ste Marie, the total of which is used to select teams to represent the north at the Skate Ontario Championships from March 17th to 19th (2017) in Port Colborne.

It is that same event that Sudbury hosted quite successfully last winter at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex. While Breanna Baxter of the SCC showed the way in Juvenile Women U14 competition, Ella Goulard of the Verner Figure Skating Club topped the standings in Juvenile Women U12.

Her teammate, Casey-Eve Lavigne, was just two spots back of Baxter in a grouping that is six skaters strong, the top two thirds of which advance. The Verner crew actually included a pair of Challenge contenders, as Danyka Piquette placed fourth in Pre-Novice, while Chloe Lalonde was fifth in the Novice Women’s event.

“It helps when you have teammates there,” said Piquette of Sectionals, as she guest practiced with the Sudbury crew last week. “You can cheer them on and they can cheer you on. It’s just fun to have other people with you there too.”

Scoring a total of 68.24 points between her two programs, Piquette was looking to capitalize on her particular skill-set as a skater. “The artistic side is a bit stronger for me,” she suggested. “After a while, you learn your music, you learn to feel it, you insert little arm movements here and there.”

“The jumps come with practice, but I think the artistic side comes more naturally for me.” A first year skater in Sudbury after several years of representing the Walden Figure Skating Club, 15 year-old Megan Howell was aware of just how tough her goal of advancing to the next phase might be.

“That might not be in my wheelhouse, just yet, but I’m still trying,” stated Howell. “My combination jump in my short program is tough. I do a double loop double loop, and it’s not always there – but I’m working on it.”

“I tend to second guess myself going into it, so then sometimes I don’t do the jump, I just “single” it. If I can land it in competition, I would be very happy.”

Following is a complete listing of results for local skaters:

Junior Women Division
1st - Alyssa Murray (SSC) - 33.46 (SP) / 62.79 (FP) - 96.25 pts total

Novice Women Division
2nd - Madeline Baron (SSC) - 33.51 (SP) / 55.28 (FP) - 88.79 pts total
3rd - Stefanie Bernier (SSC) - 28.96 (SP) / 50.31 (FP) - 79.27 pts total
4th - Jillian Bushey (SSC) - 28.04 (SP) / 47.41 (FP) - 75.45 pts total
5th - Chloe Lalonde (VFSC) - 25.79 (SP) / 46.87 (FP) - 72.66 pts total

Pre-Novice Women Division
2nd - Jennavieve Hinton-Canard (SSC) - 24.38 (SP) / 51.37 (FP) - 75.75 pts total
4th - Danyka Piquette (VFSC) - 26.17 (SP) / 42.07 (FP) - 68.24 pts total
5th - Abby O'Bonsawin (SSC) - 25.92 (SP) / 42.27 (FP) - 68.19 pts total
9th - Megan Howell (SSC) - 20.50 (SP) / 31.39 (FP) - 51.89 pts total

Juvenile Women (U14)
1st - Breanna Baxter (SSC) - 27.39
3rd - Casey-Eve Lavigne (VFSC) - 23.78

Juvenile Women (U12)
1st - Ella Goulard (VFSC) - 17.37

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