The route took a little longer than expected, but the Connaught Skating Club contingent headed to this week’s 2016 Skate Canada Challenge in Edmonton has grown by three.
Elvie Carroll, Ehren Chang and Beres Clements have all been granted wild card spots based on their technical scores at last month’s B.C. Yukon Sectional Championships. The new entry route was implied by Skate Canada this season to provide a better representation at Challenge and not put so much emphasis on one event.
For the Connaught trio, the new life in their competitive season means an opportunity to get to next month’s Canadian Championships is now well within reach as the top 18 advance. All three came agonizing close to making the provincial team.
“I’m super excited. We pretty much train the entire year for this,” smiled Chang, who was fifth at Sectionals in his debut at the Novice level. “I’ve never been to nationals and that is the goal now.”
Carroll is also looking to reach the Canadian Championships for the first time in her career. She too was fifth in Novice Ladies and will be attending Challenge for the third straight year.
“This is a second chance to get to go with my friends and represent B.C.,” she said. “I didn’t have my best skate at Challenge last year and my goal is to improve on that.”
Clements finished right behind Chang in the Novice Men’s competition, placing sixth.
Connaught Director of Programs Keegan Murphy was cautiously optimistic all three of his skaters were going to Challenge but there were was still an awkward period where their status was limbo as results were finalized in other provinces.
“At first, we pretended all three were not going because we didn’t want there to be a huge disappointment,” said Murphy. “The standard in B.C. is very high compared to the rest of Canasa so we knew with a little bit of luck we had a shot.
“They skated 80-85 percent of their potential at Sectionals so we were very proud of what they did there. They had done their jobs but the stars still needed to be aligned.”