PIERREFONDS, Que. – Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., as well as ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto broke Canadian records in golden performances Sunday at the Skate Canada Challenge.
In ice dancing, Gilles and Poirier tabulated a national mark 196.58 points. Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of Barrie, Ont., were second at 167.78 and Haley Sales of Burnaby, B.C., and Nicolas Wamsteeker of Langley, B.C., third at 147.72.
“We made a lot of improvements,” said Gilles. “We wanted to build our confidence going into nationals and it was mission accomplished. The Canadian record in just icing on the cake.”
The couple feel they have chance to make a big step this year.
“We have so much confidence,” said Poirier. “We are just really proud of the material we’ve been able to put together and we’ve prepared ourselves well for success this season. We’ve learned so much from the previous seasons that it’s just allowed us to present our best selves. The programs will just grow even more.”
In women’s competition, Daleman tabulated 208.85 for a national record with Sarah Tamura of Vancouver second at 166.45 and Alicia Pineault of Varennes, Que., third at 147.72.
“There’s still so much that be can be improved going into nationals and that’s a great feeling,” said Daleman. “I focused on this being the final stage before the Canadian championships to determine what’s good and what needs to be improved on.”
The competition attracted over 500 skaters from across Canada with competition also being held in the novice and pre-novice categories. Skate Canada Challenge is the sole qualifying event for novice, junior, and senior skaters to earn entries to the 2017 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships January 16-22 in Ottawa.
Full results: 2017 Skate Canada Challenge