Connaught Skating made a big statement about its future at the B.C./Yukon Sectional Championships.
It was an outstanding weekend for the Richmond club in Coquitlam, capturing seven medals and a whopping 13 top 10 finishes. In total, 19 skaters produced personal best scores in their biggest meet of the competitive season so far.
“That’s a lot of personal best scores,” smiled Connaught Director of Programs Keegan Murphy. “Even the kids who were in the 10th to 12th positions really exceeded our expectations. Everyone skated well but it was their results that really blew us away.”
It was at the younger age levels where Connaught made its biggest impression. They dominated the Pre Juvenile Ladies U11 category, placing three skaters in the top five, including gold medalist Maho Harada and bronze medal winner Dorothy Yuen.
It was a similar overall performance one age level higher in Juvenile Ladies 12 where Samantha Yeung earned a silver medal and Michelle Wang just missed out on a medal, placing fourth.
On the boys side, Wesley Chui confirmed his bright future by capturing the Juvenile Men U12 division.
“I was hoping to win a medal but I’m really happy it’s gold,” said the 10-year-old who was the last one to skate in his grouping. “What I like most of all about skating is jumping. I would love to go to the Olympics one day.”
Chui will saviour his special weekend before preparing for his next competition in Victoria. The plan is to move up to the Pre-Novice level next season.
Meanwhile, Danica Vangsgaard took a big step towards skating in her first-ever Nationals by earning bronze in Novice Ladies.
The Grade 9 Little Flower Academy student was also third a year ago in Pre-Novice and the higher division opens the door to even greater challenges. She is one of five Connaught skaters who will be representing B.C. at next month’s Western Challenge in Edmonton. A top 18 finish there will send Vangsgaard to Halifax in January for the Canadian Championships.
“It’s been a pretty good season so far,” she smiled. “After the short, I was third and knew what I needed to do in the long. There were a couple of things I could have done better but I will fix that up for Challenge.”
Vangsgaard has been skating for 10 years, having come through the club’s CanSkate program. She was a gold medalist in Juvenile two years ago and she plans to move up to Junior next season.
“I just love to compete and it’s exciting to know I have a good chance to get to my first nationals.”
Here’s a rundown of all the Connaught results at Sectionals:
Senior Men: 2. Mitchell Gordon 3. Shawn Cuevas 4. Satish Stefansson.
Junior Ladies: 7. Danielle Gordon.
Novice Ladies: 2. Danica Vangsgaard 5. Elvie Carroll 15. Rachel DeMello
Novice Men U17: 5. Ehren Chang 6. Beres Clements
Pre Novice Ladies U16: 10. Phoebe Yan 14. Caitlin Tai 16. Mary Jo Yun 17. Avia Dobres 24. Jamie Cheung 30. Jennavieve Joa.
Juvenile Ladies U12: 2. Samantha Yeung 4. Michelle Wang 12. Isabella Jin 24. Catherine Yuen.
Juvenile Ladies U14: 24. Hanna Matsumoto.
Juvenile Men U12: 1. Wesley Chui.
Pre Juvenile Ladies U11: 1. Maho Harada 3. Dorothy Yuen 5. Ciara Iorio 14.Ellie Cheung 17. Ria Mesatopitis 18. Elizabeth Shepelev.