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Gilles and Poirier Open International Season with Victory at Autumn Classic International

PIERREFONDS, Que. – Ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Toronto opened their international season Saturday with a victory to conclude the Autumn Classic International figure skating competition.

The world championship bronze medallists earned 208.97 points for top spot with Olivia Smart and Adrian Diaz of Spain second at 191.31 and Caroline Green and Michael Parsons of the U.S. third at 188.43.

‘’We’re very pleased with the way both programs went,’’ said Poirier. ‘’We didn’t try to force things or have that perfect skate. We just want to get everything sharper and we’re really excited to deliver such a strong showing and show that we keep improving.’’

Marjorie Lajoie of Boucherville, Que., and Zachary Lagha of St-Hubert, Que., the 2019 world junior champions, totalled 181.74 for fourth.

‘’We’re really happy with the free dance and we didn’t hold back,’’ said Lagha. ‘’During the off season we really worked on our skating skills and made some needed changes to our programs.’’

Carolane Soucisse of Chateauguay, Que., and Shane Firus of North Vancouver were fifth and Haley Sales of Kelowna, B.C., and Nikolas Wamsteeker of Langley, B.C. took sixth.

In an all-Canadian men’s event, Conrad Orzel of Woodbridge, Ont., took the gold with 207.31 points, Bennet Toman of Brampton, Ont., was second at 172.33 and Beres Clements of Gibson, B.C., third at 153.48.

After landing two quads in the short on Friday, Orzel couldn’t execute them cleanly in the free skate and he also fell on one of his triple Axels.

‘’There’s some good takeaways from this competition despite a really bad long,’’ said Orzel, 21, sixth at this event in 2019. ‘’There’s no way of sugar coating it, it was not what I had been showing in practice. But it helps me re-evaluate how I should prepare when I compete.’’

Besides Saturday’s four medals, Canada also won a silver in pairs with Vanessa James and Eric Radford on Friday.

Full results: https://results.skatecanada.ca/2021ACI/

Athlete Spotlight: Haley Sales/Nikolas Wamsteeker

Haley Sales

Q: What’s your favourite social media account to follow?
Haley: Animal Vines- they always post the cutest videos

Q: What is your all-time favourite sporting moment?
Haley: Tessa and Scott 2010 Olympics Free Dance- ‘twas a mesmerizing moment.

Q: What’s your favourite emoji?
Haley: 😻

Q: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Haley: Hearing people eat their bananas.

Q: What fictional character would you like to meet in real life and why?
Haley: Disney’s Aladdin. He was my childhood crush and I really would like to go on a magic carpet ride.


Nikolas Wamsteeker

Q: Who is someone in the sports world, past or present, you’d love to have dinner with and why?
Nikolas: I’d love to meet the people who first thought of strapping blades to their feet and going out on a frozen body of water. The dinner might be dried reindeer meat and lutefisk but that’s nothing I’m not too big of a stranger to it.

Q: Who or what is your biggest motivation?
Nikolas: Haley and my family.

Q: What is your all-time favourite sporting moment?
Nikolas: My friends and I were stuck on a little island after our boat’s engine quit out on us. Having a surplus of time and not too much to do, we decided to hold the inaugural Man-Am Games. The games consisted of hill sprints, javelin (with washed up sticks), a tire toss, long jump, and such other activities.

Q: What’s your favourite emoji?
Nikolas: 😊

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
Nikolas: Cellphones.

Sales and Wamsteeker place 10th at Nebelhorn Trophy

OBERTSDORF, Germany – Haley Sales of Burnaby, B.C., and Nikolas Wamsteeker of Langley, B.C., remained 10th after Saturday’s free dance to conclude the Nebelhorn Trophy figure skating competition.

Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland of Britain won the gold medal with Kana Muramoto and Chris Reed of Japan second and Kavita Lorenz and Joti Polizoakis of Germany third.

Last season, Sales and Wamsteeker placed ninth at the 2016 Autumn Classic International and fifth at the 2017 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. They are coached by Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe in Burnaby, B.C.

It was the second time the couple competed overseas.

On Friday, Canada’s other entry Camille Ruest of Rimouski, Que., and Drew Wolfe of Calgary took 10th spot in pairs.

Full results: 49th Nebelhorn Trophy 2017

Ruest and Wolfe place 10th at Nebelhorn Trophy

OBERTSDORF, Germany – Camille Ruest of Rimouski, Que., and Drew Wolfe of Calgary took 10th spot in pairs on Friday at the Nebelhorn Trophy figure skating competition.

World championships bronze medallists Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Russia took the gold with world silver medallists Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany second and Ekaterina Alexandrovskaya and Harley Windsor of Australia third.

Ruest and Wolfe were sixth after the short program.

In ice dancing after the short dance, Haley Sales of Burnaby, B.C., and Nikolas Wamsteeker of Langley, B.C., stand 10th.

They are the only two Canadian entries at the annual event. Competition ends Saturday.

Full results: 49th Nebelhorn Trophy 2017

Canadian skaters headed to Montreal for Skate Canada Autumn Classic International

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will send 18 entries, for a total of 23 skaters to the third annual Skate Canada Autumn Classic International (#ACI16). Canada will have 10 entries at the senior level ISU Challenger Series event including two entries per discipline in men’s and pair and three entries per discipline in ladies and ice dance. The junior category of the event will feature eight Canadian entries including two in men’s and six in ladies. The event runs from September 28-October 1, 2016, at the Sportplexe Pierrefonds in Montreal, Que.

Keegan Messing, 24, Girdwood, Alaska, USA, is one of two Canadian entries in men’s. Last season, Messing placed fifth at the Ondrej Nepela Trophy, 11th at Skate Canada International and sixth at the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. The representative of Sherwood Park FSC is coached by Ralph Burghart in Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

Bennet Toman, 19, Brampton, Ont., is the second Canadian entry in men’s. Last season, he placed sixth at this event. Toman also placed eighth at the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships and fourth at the 2016 Coupe de Printemps. He is coached by Robert O’Toole in Mississauga, Ont.

Canadian Champion Alaine Chartrand, 20, Prescott, Ont., is the first of three Canadian entries in the ladies category. Last year, Chartrand placed 12th at Skate America, sixth at the Rostelecom Cup, 11th at the ISU Four Continents Championships, and 17th at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships. The representative of the Nepean Skating Club is coached by Michelle Leigh and Brian Orser.

Michelle Long, 24, Newmarket, Ont., is the second Canadian entry in the ladies discipline. This will be her first international assignment. Last season, she placed fifth at the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. Long is coached by Robert Burk and Danielle Rose in Richmond Hill, Ont.

Larkyn Austman, 18, Coquitlam, B.C., will also represent Canada in the ladies discipline. Last season, she finished sixth at the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. She is coached by Zdenek Pazdirek in Coquitlam, B.C.

Canadian silver medallists in 2016, Julianne Séguin, 19, Longueuil, Que., and Charlie Bilodeau, 23, Trois-Pistoles, Que., are the first of two Canadian pair entries at the event. Last season, they placed fifth at the Nebelhorn Trophy, and won bronze at Skate America and Trophée Éric Bompard. Séguin and Bilodeau are coached by Josée Picard in Chambly, Que.

Camille Ruest, 22, Rimouski, Que., and Andrew Wolfe, 21, Calgary, Alta., will also represent Canada in pair. This will be their first international assignment together. Ruest and Wolfe are coached by Richard Gauthier and Bruno Marcotte in Montreal, Que.

Olympic and World champions Tessa Virtue, 27, London, Ont., and Scott Moir, 29, Ilderton, Ont., lead the Canadian entries in ice dance. Virtue and Moir return to competition after taking two seasons off following the 2014 Olympic Winter Games where they earned silver medals in ice dance and in the team event. Virtue and Moir are coached by Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon in Montreal, Que.

Carolane Soucisse, 21, Châteauguay, Que., and Shane Firus, 22, Barrie, Ont., will also represent Canada in ice dance. This will be their first international assignment together. Soucisse and Firus are coached by Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon in Montreal, Que.

Haley Sales, 19, Burnaby, B.C., and Nikolas Wamsteeker, 19, Langley, B.C., are the third Canadian ice dance entry at the event. Last season, they placed fourth in the junior category at the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. Sales and Wamsteeker are coached by Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe in Burnaby, B.C.

Junior Entries

Canadian junior silver medallist Edrian Paul Celestino, 18, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que., is one of two Canadian representatives in the junior men’s category. Last season, he placed fourth at this event in the junior category. This season, he placed ninth at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Russia. He is coached by Daniel Beland in Montreal, Que.

Iliya Kovler, 13, Richmond Hill, Ont., is the second Canadian entry in the junior men’s category. This will be his first international assignment. Kovler placed fourth in the novice category at the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. He is coached by Andrei Berezintsev in Richmond Hill, Ont.

Canadian junior silver medallist in 2016, Alicia Pineault, 16, Varennes, Que., is one of six Canadian entries in the junior ladies category. Last year, she won the silver medal at this event. This season, she placed 10th at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in the Czech Republic. Pineault is coached by Stéphane Yvars in Boucherville, Que.

Amanda Tobin, 16, Burlington, Ont., will also represent Canada in junior ladies. This will be her first international assignment. Tobin placed fifth at the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in the junior category. She is coached by Leesa Velenosi, Raoul LeBlanc, and Kristy Bell in Burlington, Ont.

McKenna Colthorp, 15, Fort St. James, B.C., will represent Canada in the junior ladies category. Last year, she won the bronze medal at this event and placed seventh in the junior category at the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. She is coached by Karen Mongrain and Jason Mongrain in Kelowna, B.C.

Canadian novice champion in 2016, Aurora Cotop, 14, Toronto, Ont., will represent Canada in junior ladies. This will be her first international assignment. Cotop is coached by Jonathan Mills and Myke Gillman in Thornhill, Ont.

Canadian novice silver medallist Olivia Gran, 13, Kelowna, B.C., will represent Canada in junior ladies. Earlier this season she placed ninth at her ISU Junior Grand Prix assignment in France. Gran is coached by Karen and Jason Mongrain in Kelowna, B.C.

Also representing Canada in junior ladies is Lissa Anne McGaghey, 16, Campbellton, N.B. This will be her first international assignment. Last season, she placed 11th in the novice women’s category at the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. McGaghey is coached by Stéphane Yvars in Boucherville, Que.

Scott Rachuk of Strathroy, Ont., and Terra Findlay of Echo Bay, Ont., will be the Canadian team leaders onsite. Dr. Ed Pilat of Winnipeg, Man., and physiotherapist Josiane Roberge of Sillery, Que., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Karen Howard of Regina, Sask., Jérôme Poulin of Montreal, Que., Véronique Gosselin of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., and Nicole Leblanc-Richard of Dieppe, N.B., will be the Canadian officials at the event.

For more information and full entries please visit the Skate Canada website.

CANADIAN SENIOR ENTRIES AT 2016 SKATE CANADA AUTUMN CLASSIC INTERNATIONAL

Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Mens Keegan Messing 24 Girdwood, Alaska, USA Sherwood Park FSC Ralph Burghart
Mens Bennet Toman 19 Brampton, Ont. CPAR Vaudreuil Robert O’Toole
Ladies Alaine Chartrand 20 Prescott, Ont. Nepean Skating Club Michelle Leigh / Brian Orser
Ladies Michelle Long 24 Newmarket, Ont. Richmond Hill FSC Robert Burk / Danielle Rose
Ladies Larkyn Austman 18 Coquitlam, B.C. Connaught SC Zdenek Pazdirek
Pair Julianne Séguin / Charlie Bilodeau 19/23 Longueuil, Que. / Trois-Pistoles, Que. CPA Longueuil / CPA Chambly Josée Picard
Pair Camille Ruest / Andrew Wolfe 22/21 Rimouski, Que. / Balmertown, Ont. CPA De Rimouski / Glencoe Club Richard Gauthier / Bruno Marcotte
Ice Dance Tessa Virtue / Scott Moir 27/29 London, Ont. / Ilderton, Ont. Ilderton SC / Ilderton SC Marie-France Dubreuil / Patrice Lauzon
Ice Dance Carolane Soucisse / Shane Firus 21/22 Châteauguay, Que. / Barrie, Ont. CPA Repentigny / CPA Ahuntsic Marie-France Dubreuil / Patrice Lauzon
Ice Dance Haley Sales / Nikolas Wamsteeker 18/18 Burnaby, B.C. / Langley, B.C. Kelowna SC / Champs International Skating Centre Megan Wing / Aaron Lowe

CANADIAN JUNIOR ENTRIES AT 2016 SKATE CANADA AUTUMN CLASSIC INTERNATIONAL

Discipline Name Age Hometown Club Coach
Mens Edrian Paul Celestino 18 Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que. Saint Laurent FSC Daniel Beland
Mens Iliya Kovler 13 Richmond Hill, Ont. Richmond Hill FSC Andrei Berezintsev
Ladies Alicia Pineault 16 Varennes, Que. CPA Varennes Stéphane Yvars
Ladies Amanda Tobin 16 Burlington, Ont. Burlington SC Leesa Velenosi / Raoul LeBlanc / Kristy Bell
Ladies McKenna Colthorp 15 Fort St. James, B.C. Kelowna FSC Karen Mongrain / Jason Mongrain
Ladies Aurora Cotop 14 Toronto, Ont. Thornhill FSC Jonathan Mills / Myke Gillman
Ladies Olivia Gran 13 Kelowna, B.C. Kelowna FSC Karen Mongrain / Jason Mongrain
Ladies Lissa Anne McGaghey 16 Campbellton, N.B. Campbellton FSC Stéphane Yvars