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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

Joseph Phan takes home the gold medal at the 2018 Skate Canada Challenge

PIERREFONDS, Que. – Sixteen-year-old Joseph Phan upset national team members Nicolas Nadeau and Nam Nguyen Friday to win the gold medal in men’s senior competition at the Skate Canada Challenge figure skating event.

Phan, of Laval, Que., posted a personal best 245.22 points for his routine that included two quads and a triple Axel. Nadeau, of Boisbriand, Que., was second at 231.43 and Nguyen, from Toronto, took the bronze at 223.47.

‘’I felt stressed as usual but that helps me compete better,’’ said Phan, 11th at the senior nationals  last season. ‘’I worked really hard for this competition and I felt ready. I was pleased with both my programs and my plan is to add a second triple Axel in my long for nationals (in January).’’

There was no surprise in senior pairs as Julianne Séguin of Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau of Trois-Pistoles, Que., won the gold medal with 202.46. Evelyn Walsh of London, Ont., and Trennt Michaud of Trenton, Ont., were second at 176.90 and Sydney Kolodziej and Maxime Deschamps of St-Léonard, Que., third at 165.52.

‘’It was not our best performance,’’ said Bilodeau. ‘’We made a few mistakes on technical elements. But our goal here was to prepare for nationals and get some momentum going.’’

In junior pairs, Lori-Ann Matte and Thierry Ferland of Levis, Que., were the winners with 144.36. Mariah McCaw and Steven Adcock of Kitchener, Ont., were second at 139.36 and Olivia Boys-Eddy and Mackenzie Boys-Eddy of Brampton, Ont., third at 136.68.

‘’We improved a lot,’’ said Matte. ‘’We wanted to put energy into our programs and entertain the crowd. The programs have different styles and we are working toward being more consistent in our elements.’’

In novice pairs, Brooke McIntosh and Brandon Toste of Mississauga, Ont., took the gold ahead of two Quebec teams. Camille Perreault and Bryan Pierro were second and Marine Pouliot and Alexandre Simard third.

Skate Canada Challenge is 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.

Competition continues through to Sunday at the Sportplexe Pierrefonds.

Full results: 2018 Skate Canada Challenge

Skaters from across Canada in Montreal for 2018 Skate Canada Challenge

OTTAWA, ON: Over 500 skaters from across Canada are headed to Montreal, Que., for the 2018 Skate Canada Challenge. This year’s event will be taking place from November 29-December 3, 2017, at the Sportplexe Pierrefonds.

Skate Canada Challenge is 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, B.C., from January 8-14, 2018. Skaters qualified for the 2018 Skate Canada Challenge by advancing through their local sectional championships.

The 2018 Skate Canada Challenge will also see the crowning of the 2018 Canadian Pre-Novice Champions in men, women, pairs, and ice dance.

Many Skate Canada national team members are entered in the senior competition including:

Local Montreal skating clubs will have a large representation at the event with a total of 24 entries across all categories and disciplines, including six senior entries, seven junior entries, six novice entries and five pre-novice entries.

For event information including schedule, entries, and start orders please click here. All three competition rinks will be live streamed and can be accessed through the event page or the Skate Canada Dailymotion page.

General admission tickets will be available for purchase at the Sportplexe Pierrefonds throughout the event. All-event tickets are $50, and single-day tickets will be available for purchase for $25. Admission is free for children ages 12 and under.

Media who have not already applied for accreditation are asked to contact Allan Gordon, Communications Coordinator. He will be the media contact at the event and can be reached onsite at 613.697.1354 or at [email protected]