Fifteen members of the Williams Lake Skating Club combined to dominate the podium on the weekend at the club’s annual Cariboots ’n Blades figure skating competition.
The event, which saw 20 clubs from around the province travel to compete at Williams Lake’s Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex, showcased 175 skaters in 380 events.
The WLSC skaters, who posted multiple top finishes, finished fifth out of 20 in overall team standings. The Fort St. John Figure Skating Club, who brought a strong contingent of skaters for the meet, took the top spot.
Joanne Macnair, coach of the WLSC, said it was an excellent competition and added she was proud of how everyone skated.
“It went lovely,” she said. “I was really happy with the results. Everyone skated well. Our new skaters were wonderful for their first times out, and I think they had a great time.
“It was a busy, busy weekend but I’m really proud of all the kids.”
Skaters at Cariboots ’n Blades competed in multiple events and skating categories including free skate, spins and elements.
Winning gold medals for the WLSC were Jessica Rowley in Primary Spins, Amanda Lane in Bronze Elements and in Pre-Juvenile Women U11, Dawn Henley in Senior Bronze Women, Jade Johnson in StarSkate 4 13-plus.
Lane, who has been skating with the club for the past five years, said having the competition in Williams Lake is a lot of fun.
“I like getting out there and skating because, you know, you want to do your best but it really doesn’t matter what place you come,” Lane said. “It’s just a lot of fun.”
Rowley echoed Lane’s statements, and said, while nervous at first, everyone’s inhibitions about performing in front of a large crowd disappeared.
“The warmup was actually my favourite part,” Rowley said. “You’re so scared to get out there and then once you get on the ice you’re like, ‘OK, it’s not so bad.’”
She added her gold-medal in spins was a welcome surprise.
“Normally spins aren’t my greatest,” Rowley said. “But this time I went down lower than I usually do and it worked out great.”
Lane also won a silver medal in Bronze Spins, while Johnson took a silver medal in Preliminary Spins.
Winning bronze medals were Violet Kritz in Primary Spins, Brooke Dawydiuk and Henley in Silver Elements.
Kritz, who has been skating with the club for around three years, said she was happy with her performance and enjoyed the festivities.
“The best part was getting the awards,” Kritz said. “It’s really exciting. Everyone’s there taking pictures.”
Dawydiuk also placed sixth in Bronze Interpretive and in StarSkate 4 13-plus, while teammate Mackenna Alexander place eighth in the same division.
Meredith Jackson, competing in Preliminary Elements and Preliminary Spins, placed fourth and sixth, respectively. Teammate Alana Walters, in StarSkate 4 U13, placed 10th.
In their respective StarSkate categories, silver placements were also awarded to Abby Brown, Georgia Jacobson, Kritz, Rowley and Jackson. Bronze placements were presented to Kailey Champagne, Rebecca Fraser, Reese Johnson and Tessa Martin.
Additionally, several skaters passed their respective skills tests. Dawydiuk passed bronze interpretive, Jackson passed preliminary free skate and Sarah Hoffman passed her Fiesta dance test.
Margie Henley, president of the WLSC, said everyone’s help — including volunteers and officials — helped make the competition a success.
“We were really happy with how it turned out,” she said. “I think all the skaters enjoyed themselves and I think it went very, very well.
“The officials enjoyed Williams Lake and the hospitality of our sponsors.”
The WLSC is now preparing some of its skaters for the upcoming regional championships in Kitimat from Feb. 15-17. Following that, the club will be attending the Super Series, March 9-10, in Kelowna.