Skaters book a trip to Banff

Figure skating: Athletes take different routes to Alberta Winter Games

By: Bruce Campbell

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013 10:28 am

Members of the Okotoks Figure Skating Club recently competed at either the sectionals or Alberta Winter Game run-offs in Edmonton and Airdrie respectively. They are, back row, from left, Piper Caravaggio, Talia Sargent, Isabella Oszust and coach Brittney Coppock. Front row, Milly Okabe, Geraldine Newman, Luke Arbib and Charlotte Arbib.
Members of the Okotoks Figure Skating Club recently competed at either the sectionals or Alberta Winter Game run-offs in Edmonton and Airdrie respectively. They are, back row, from left, Piper Caravaggio, Talia Sargent, Isabella Oszust and coach Brittney Coppock. Front row, Milly Okabe, Geraldine Newman, Luke Arbib and Charlotte Arbib.
Bruce Campbell/OWW

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Okotoks figure skaters took various routes to book their trip to Canada’s winter wonderland.

Okotoks Figure Skating club members Talia Sargent, Piper Caravaggio and Isabella Oszust will represent Zone 2 at the 2014 Alberta Winter Games in Banff and Canmore after strong performances at one of two competitions in November.

They earned one of the two spots in their categories by having the highest score at either the sectionals in Edmonton on Nov. 7-10 or the Winter Games run-offs in Airdrie two weeks later.

Sargent had the best skate of her young life at the sectionals with a score of 25.15 in the Juvenile Women’s U14 freeskate division.

“It was the highest mark I have ever had,” said Sargent, a student at John Paul II Collegiate in Okotoks.

She skated a variation of a program she used in 2012, which she also performed to music from “The Princess Diaries”.

“We changed the jumps to make them harder,” she said. “We worked with the pattern to make it fit the music better.”

The “we” Sargent refers to includes coaches Kerri Roberts and Lisa Hilbert. Their teamwork was evident in Sargent’s two-and-a-half minute freeskate.

“I landed all my jumps and my spins were great,” Sargent said. “When I came to the last of my jumps, I knew I was having a good skate.”

Sargent had a clean skate, the only thing to hit the ice were her blades.

She was so confident in her score in Edmonton, she bypassed the Airdrie competition — rightfully thinking her performance was strong enough to secure one of the two spots on the Zone 2 team.

Meanwhile, Caravaggio had to take a mulligan. After what she called a disappointing skate in Edmonton, she bounced back at the run-offs to clinch a spot on the Zone 2 squad.

“My goal was to qualify for the Winter Games and I didn’t have a very good skate at Sectionals, so I decided to go to Airdrie,” the 13-year-old Caravaggio said. “I told myself that I would just try my best for Airdrie and whatever happens, happens.”

After sectionals, Caravaggio did more work on the ice to prepare for Airdrie than a King penguin at feeding time.

“I was working on my jumps, spins and everything in between — my steps and footwork,” she said with a chuckle. “I made more progress than I expected.”

Caravaggio said she knew early on things were going much smoother than they did in Edmonton.

“When I landed my first couple of jumps, I was like: ‘oh, yeah this good. I am doing way better,’” Caravaggio said.

I ended up falling on my last jump, but I knew it was a good skate.”

She completed a double Salchow, two Axels and a double-toe before slipping on her final double Salchow near the end of her performance.

She will compete against Sargent in the Juvenile U-14 women’s division at the Alberta Games.

Oszust didn’t skate in Edmonton so her one kick-at-the-cat for the Games was in Airdrie. She thought she might have kicked her chances when she fell on her opening double Salchow in the Senior Bronze U-13 division.

“You just have to get up as fast as you can and pretend it didn’t happen,” she said of falling. However, that was easier said then done. The Salchow was part of a required combination, so she had to think quickly on her feet.

“I had to do it in a combination so I had to change my program a little bit,” she said. “It was my last jump and I made it.”

Although she made the required combination, the 13-year-old Oszust might have been more nervous after her skate than before.

“I didn’t find out that I made the Games until the day after,” she said. “I wasn’t very happy (with my skate in Airdrie), but when I got the email telling me I made it, I was happy.”

The Okotoks skaters will have company as Lisa Hilbert was selected as one of the coaches for Zone 2.

For more information about Alberta Winter Games go to www.2014awg.ca.

For more information about the Okotoks Figure Skating Club go to www.okotoksskatingclub.com


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