Williams Lake Skating Club members hauled in some early Christmas presents in the form of medals during the weekend at the Okanagan Interclub Competition in Summerland.
Held Nov. 22-24 at the Summerland Arena Complex and joined by hundreds of competitive figure skaters from throughout the province, the WLSC glided its way to an exceptional showing at the event.
“We skated really, really well,” said WLSC head coach Joanne Macnair. “It was a really good showing by everyone. All good placements and, every skater who could have got a medal won a medal.”
WLSC skaters who competed at the event were Bailey Jones, Emma Penner, Reagan West, Georgia Jacobson, Kolbi Seterengen, Emma Herrling, Julia Bowman, Camdyn Cochran (front from left), Ivy Matieshen and Kaelin Mackinnon. Also joining the group to compete was WLSC alumni Ryanne Jones, Bailey’s older sister who is now attending university in the Okanagan.
For Ivy, Macnair said it was her very first competitive figure skating meet, and added she skated remarkably.
Ivy, at just seven years old, received a gold assessment in her Star 1 category.
“That is pretty darn good for your first time out,” Macnair said.
In Star 2, and competing in the division for the first time, was Kaelin Mackinnon, who picked up a bronze assessment at the meet.
Rounding out the club’s junior skaters at the meet was Camdyn Cochran, who skated to a silver assessment in Star 3, while Emma Herrling achieved a bronze assessment in Star 2.
In competitive skating, participants in Star 4 and above skate for gold, silver and bronze medals and are ranked accordingly.
Representing the WLSC in those classes was Penner, Jones, West, Jacobson, Seterengen and Bowman.
Penner won a bronze medal for her long program in the Star 6 division, and placed fourth for her Star 7 short program.
West, meanwhile, was fourth in a tough Star 9 category for her short program, and picked up a silver medal in her Star 8 short program category.
Competing in two separate Star 5 divisions, Bowman and Jacobson also both picked up medals.
Jacobson skated to a bronze medal in her Star 9 artistic event, and was sixth in the Star 5 13 and Over, category.
Bowman capped off a strong weekend with a first place gold medal in her Star 5 Elements class, and achieved a silver medal in her Star 5 13 and Over category.
Seterengen, 13, who said she put forward the best skates of her young career, was first in the Star 6 division, second in Star 6 elements and fifth place in the gold artistic ladies event.
“My long program was probably my strongest because I landed everything almost perfectly with good technique,” she said.
“It was definitely the best I’ve ever skated. I was really happy and really relieved I skated such a good program.”
Bailey, also 13, won a silver medal in Star 4 Elements, skated to a gold medal in her solo and was eighth in artistic.
“My solo was probably my best,” Bailey said. “I managed to land both axels, my hardest jump, so that was good.”
By season end, Bailey said she hopes to be able to land her double salchow.
“I just hope to keep getting better as the season goes on,” she said.
“Overall in Summerland, we all did really well. Everyone who could got medals.”
As a team, the skaters said it was one of their best competitions to date, and have now shifted their attention to the club’s annual, beloved holiday tradition in the form of its Christmas Showcase.
The event is coming up Thursday, Dec. 19, at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex beginning at 7 p.m.
It’s a chance for the community to spend an evening out to the sounds of delightful Christmas music as skaters of all ages from the club — from the CanSkate beginners right to its senior members — put on a Christmas performance for the community.
“It’s all free of charge, and I think the community has enjoyed it,” Macnair said of the event, which debuted roughly five years ago as a Christmas-themed showcase.
“Come see what everyone’s been working on and what we’re up to, and the CanSkaters — you’ve got to come see these little ones — they’re three (years old) and they’re cute.”
At the Showcase, club members will be performing group, and solo numbers, among their peers to the stylings of holiday-themed music.
Following the holiday break, competitive skaters will once again be focusing on dialing in their routines and perfecting new skills as they head to Prince George for the CNC Regional Championships Jan. 18-19.