Moore-Towers, Marinaro lead after opening day of 2021 Skate Canada Challenge

It was a long wait between performances, but Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro picked up right where they left off Friday during the opening day of the 2021 Skate Canada virtual competition.

Competing at a national event for the first time in almost a year, the two-time Canadian pair champions set the early pace at the competition showcasing the top junior and senior skaters from across Canada.

Ontario’s Moore-Towers and Marinaro performed their short program to Gimme All Your Love by Alabama Shakes, scored 71.04 and lead Deanna Stellato and Maxime Deschamps of Quebec by nearly 10 points (61.19).

Quebec’s Lori-Ann Matte and Thierry Ferland, the fifth-place finishers at last year’s national championships, are in third spot at 59.03.

Skate Canada Challenge is being held virtually and marks the first national figure skating event held in Canada since last January’s Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Mississauga, Ont. The event is being staged over two weekends, with the senior pair, junior pair, junior men’s and junior women’s competition being held this weekend. The junior ice dance, senior ice dance, senior men’s and senior women’s events are scheduled for next weekend.

Prior to the start of the competition, skaters declared their performances from either their respective sectional championships or a section-organized challenge skate. Videos of these performances were submitted to Skate Canada to be judged in real time during the event.

Skate Canada Challenge serves as a qualifying competition for next month’s Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, scheduled to be held in Vancouver, B.C.

Audrey Carle and Gabriel Farand of Ontario lead the junior pair event with a 50.54 total, followed by Quebec’s Kelly Ann Laurin and Loucas Éthier at 49.24. Meghan Fredette and William St-Louis of Quebec hold down third spot at 45.49.

The junior women’s short program wrapped up the opening day of competition, with Ontario’s Fiona Bombardier in top spot after scoring 53.03. Leah Lee of the BC/YK section (51.01) and Ontario’s Michelle Lee (50.48) round out the top three.

Competition resumes Saturday at 12:00 noon ET with the Junior Pair free program, followed by the Senior Pair free program and Junior Men short program.

To watch live streaming and view updated results from the event, please visit the Skate Canada Challenge event page.

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