Aurora Cotop wins senior women’s event at Skate Canada Challenge

PIERREFONDS, Que. – Aurora Cotop of Toronto won the gold medal in senior women’s event on Sunday to conclude the Skate Canada Challenge figure skating competition.

Cotop was third in the free skate but maintained top spot overall with 162.85 points. Michelle Long of Newmarket, Ont., won the free skate to soar from eighth to second at 161.47 and Alicia Pineault of Varennes, Que., was third at 159.25.

‘’It was alright, certainly it’s been better in training,’’ said Cotop, 15, about her free program. ‘’There are jumps that I’m still working on towards the nationals.’’

In senior ice dancing, Haley Sales of Burnaby, B.C., and Nikolas Wamsteeker of Langley, B.C., hung on to top spot with 156.66. Sarah Arnold of Waterloo, Ont.,  and Thomas Williams of Burnaby, B.C., won the free skate to move from third to second at 151.70 while Molly Lanaghan and Dmitre Razgulajevs of Scarborough, Ont., were third at 142.94.

‘’This week has been really good for us,’’ said Sales. ‘’We have a lot more work to do for nationals. We need to reach the next level with our free program and that’s going to be a big focus in our preparations.’’

In junior ice dancing, Ashlynne Stairs of Burnaby and Lee Royer of St. Albert, Alta., remained first despite the third best free skate with 137.78. Alicia Fabbri of Laval, Que., and Claudio Pietrantonio of Terrebonne, Que., won the free skate to surge from fourth to second at 135.60. Olivia McIsaac and Elliott Graham of Angus, Ont., were third at 134.56.

‘’Our free dance was a little shaky,’’ said Royer. ‘’We know what need to do to improve for the nationals.’’

Iliya Kovler of Richmond Hill, Ont., won the men’s junior event.

Skate Canada Challenge was the sole qualifying event for novice, junior, and senior skaters to earn entries to the 2018 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships taking place in Vancouver, January 8-14, 2018.

Full results: 2018 Skate Canada Challenge

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