Tag Archive for: Riga Latvia

Canadian skaters headed to Latvia for Junior Grand Prix #3

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will have five entries, for a total of seven skaters at the third stop of the 2019 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Riga, Latvia. Team Canada’s entries will include two entries in men, one entry in women and two entries in ice dance. The event will take place from September 4-7, 2019.

Joseph Phan, 18, Toronto, Ont., will be the first Canadian entry in men. Last season on the Junior Grand Prix circuit, Phan finished third at Czech Skate. At the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships, he placed 12th. He finished fourth in senior at the 2019 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. Phan is coached by Brian Orser in Toronto, Ont.

Eric Liu, 18, Edmonton, Alta., will be the second Canadian entry in men. Liu finished 11th in senior at the 2019 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships. He is coached by Ravi Walia in Edmonton, Alta.

Canadian novice champion Kaiya Ruiter, 13, Calgary, AB., will be the lone Canadian entry in women. This will be her first season on the Junior Grand Prix circuit. Ruiter is coached by Scott Davis and Jeff Langdon in Calgary, Alta.

Canadian junior ice dance bronze medallists Natalie D’Alessandro, 15, Toronto, Ont., and Bruce Waddell, 17, Toronto, Ont., will be the first Canadian entry in ice dance. Last year, the team finished fourth at JGP Cup of Austria and sixth at JGP Canada. They are coached by Tracy Wilson, Andrew Hallam and Joey Russell in Toronto, Ont.

Canadian novice bronze medallists Isabel McQuilkin, 16, Calgary, Alta., and Jacob Portz, 18, Calgary, Alta., will be the second Canadian entry in ice dance. This will be their first season on the Junior Grand Prix circuit. Last season, the two finished second at the 2018 Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships (novice). The team is coached by Kim Weeks, Tyler Myles and Ben Westenberger in Calgary, Alta.

Manon Perron of Boucherville, Que., and Mike Slipchuk, Skate Canada High Performance Director, will be the team leaders at the event. Physiotherapist Sylvia Cyurisek of Berwyn, Alta., will be the Canadian medical staff onsite. Andrew Bosco of Thorold, Ont., and Erika Topolski of Fredericton, N.B., will be the Canadian officials attending the event.

For more information, please visit www.isu.org.


Men Joseph Phan 18 Toronto, Ont. Toronto CS & CC Brian Orser
Men Eric Liu 18 Edmonton, Alta. Ice Palace FSC Ravi Walia
Women Kaiya Ruiter 13 Calgary, Alta. Glencoe Club Scott Davis / Jeff Langdon
Ice Dance Natalie D’Alessandro / Bruce Waddell 15/17 Toronto, Ont. / Toronto, Ont. Toronto CS & CC Tracy Wilson / Andrew Hallam / Joey Russell
Ice Dance Isabel McQuilkin / Jacob Portz 16/18 Calgary, Alta. / Calgary, Alta. Calalta SC Kim Weeks / Tyler Myles / Ben Westenberger

Gold for Canadian ice dancers at Junior Grand Prix

RIGA, Latvia – Ice dancers MacKenzie Bent of Uxbridge, Ont., and Garrett MacKeen of Oshawa, Ont., earned their first international victory on Saturday to conclude the first stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix figure skating circuit.

The Canadians totalled 127.93 points to edge Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter of the U.S. second at 127.43 and Alla Loboda and Pavel Drozd of Russia third at 126.43.  It’s a second career junior Grand Prix medal for Bent and MacKeen, also fifth at the world juniors last season.

“It was really something special to hear our national anthem,” said MacKeen, 19, three years older than his partner.  “It certainly will be one of the biggest memories for us from this competition.

Bent and MacKeen were first after the short program Friday then delivered the third best free dance of the day but it was still enough to retain the overall lead.

“One of our lifts was downgraded and that affected our score,” said MacKeen.  “It’s something we’ve been working really hard on in training.  We came here with a short dance similar to last year because it was very successful for us.  We changed our free dance and we are delighted to get off to such a great start with it.”

In men’s competition, Roman Sadovsky of Vaughan, Ont., climbed from 16th to 14th overall.  Boyang Jin of China won the gold.

On Friday, Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., was fourth in women’s competition while in pairs Dylan Conway of Toronto and Dustin Sheriff-Clayton of Newmarket, Ont., were sixth and Mary Orr of Brantford, Ont., and Phelan Simpson of Lunenburg, N.S., seventh.


Louis Daignault

Canadian ice dancers lead after short, Chartrand fourth at Junior Grand Prix

RIGA, Latvia – Ice dancers MacKenzie Bent of Uxbridge, Ont., and Garrett MacKeen of Oshawa, Ont., are first after Friday’s short program while Alaine Chartrand of Prescott, Ont., was fourth in the women’s final at the season’s first stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit in figure skating.

In women’s competition, Chartand posted a personal best international score of 146.95 points. She competed at two junior Grand Prix last season before winning the bronze medal at the senior nationals and placing eighth at the world juniors.

‘’I gained quite a bit in the performance department of the program today,’’ said Chartrand, 17. ‘’It’s a more mature routine this year so that’s an aspect I’ve put a lot of focus on for this season. I also feel a lot more confident after my success last year.  Today I had the kind of start I wanted with a new program.’’

Evgenia Medvedeva led Russia to a 1-2 finish with 169.52 while Maria Sotskova was second at 166.49. Karen Chen of the U.S. was third at 154.26.

Bent and MacKeen, fifth at the world junior championships last year, earned 55.21 points for their short dance score only 0.67 off their personal best.  Lorraine McNamara and Quinn Carpenter of the U.S., are second at 52.40 and Alla Loboda and Pavel Drozd of Russia third at 50.93.

The pairs competition wrapped up as well with both Canadian entries completing their international debuts. Dylan Conway of Toronto and Dustin Sheriff-Clayton of Newmarket, Ont., were sixth with a personal best 116.05 points. Mary Orr of Brantford, Ont., and Phelan Simpson of Lunenburg, N.S., followed in seventh at 110.77.

‘’This was an amazing opportunity for us and it was such an honour to represent Canada,’’ said Conway, 15, in her fourth season with her 20-year-old partner. ‘’We were pleased with our performance. Our throw Salchow and side-by-side spins were definitely the highlights.’’

Orr and Simpson joined forces only five months ago.

‘’It was definitely a challenge getting ready for this event,’’ said Orr, 16. ‘’The biggest issue in training was getting our timing down.  For our first competition we were happy with both our programs especially the twists and lifts.’’

Competition ends Saturday with the ice dance and men’s finals.  Roman Sadovsky of Vaughan, Ont., was 16th after Thursday’s men’s short program.

Full results: http://www.isuresults.com/results/jgplat2013/

Julianne Séguin does double duty on the ISU Junior Grand Prix Circuit

It seems that peppy blond figure skater Julianne Séguin was worth the wait, at least in the eyes of intrepid junior pair skater Charlie Bilodeau.

Bilodeau, of Montreal, already had a partnership with Kristel Desjardins that took them both to two Junior Grand Prix early in the 2012-2013 season and a silver medal at a Canadian championship at the junior level. By October last season, Bilodeau decided he wanted to skate only with Séguin – but he had to wait for her, until she had finished her season.

Bilodeau stayed at home, worked on his singles skating, missed the Canadian championships in Mississauga, Ont., and slipped in a few pair sessions with Séguin two or three times a week.

Now Séguin is one of the busiest skaters around. As a singles skater, she’ll go to the Junior Grand Prix in Mexico City Sept. 4 to 8 (there is no pairs event there), and then with Bilodeau, she’ll skate Junior Grand Prix at Minsk, Belarus on Sept. 25 to 29. Then she’ll head to Ostrava, Czech Republic the very next week to skate both pairs and women’s singles.

Coach Josée Picard wanted a schedule that didn’t have 16-year-old Séguin trotting all over the world with multiple time changes. You see, this season, there is much work to do. The way Picard sees it, Séguin is in a close scramble with two other budding stars in Canada: Gabby Daleman, who won the silver medal at the Canadian championships last season and Alaine Chartrand, who was third. And there are two spots open to Canadian women for the Sochi Olympics.

The fiery Séguin had been a young skater on the move and it was clear why she was so coveted. She was already skating senior at the national level last season, finishing sixth overall in the women’s event behind Kaetlyn Osmond after being third in the short. And at the 2012 Canadian championships, she had finished ninth with Andrew Evans in senior pairs, showing off a huge triple twist, a high throw triple Salchow that she landed like a cat, and side-by-side triple Salchows in their first season together. That year, Séguin was also third at the junior level behind Gabby Daleman. In 2010, Séguin couldn’t do a double flip.

Séguin made her senior international competition debut (in singles) at the 2013 Four Continents Championship in Osaka, where she finished 11th overall (146.48 points) behind two-time world champion Mao Asada. But she acquitted herself well, finishing sixth on technical marks in the free skate and drawing praise from Eurosport commentators.

At Four Continents in the long program, Séguin was 10 points behind the leader on the technical aspect, but 22 points behind on program component marks, so she’s focused hard on the presentation side, working with Julie Marcotte, who did her singles short program, to shine on stage. Séguin will also try to add a double Axel- triple toe loop and she plans a triple toe loop – triple toe loop as her jump combination for the short program. She’s working on a triple Lutz – triple toe loop, which is not consistent enough yet to put in the short program.

But the jumps and the points don’t tell the whole tale of Séguin, who started working with Marc Godin in Longueil, Que. One day, Godin approached Picard to ask her if she would take on the young skater, because he thought she might make a good pair skater.
“She was just a tiny little girl that came from a little club,” Picard said. At the time, she could do only an Axel and a double Salchow but she had spring “and she was just a neat little girl.” Last year, Séguin got all the triples. 

Séguin came along at the right time for Picard, who is known for her pair and dance success. She had coached Isabelle Brasseur from six years old to the Olympic Games. And she was the original coach of Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz when they first joined forces as junior ice dancers. Picard coached them until they finished fourth at the world championships.

She had taken a break from coaching and vowed to herself that when she returned she wanted to coach a beginner to the top level again. “I’m going to enjoy the last part of my career,” she thought. Séguin has turned into a new challenge: Picard had never coached a singles skater to the top levels.

At the beginning, Picard found Séguin an easy-going student with a ready smile. “She smiles all the time,” Picard said. “The smile you see is the smile you see five days a week. That’s what I think is special about her. And I think she has succeeded so fast because she never questioned anything I told her to do. She has confidence and she does what you say. It’s very pleasant to work with somebody that is so hard working and that has got that personality.”

Picard works with Séguin at a new arena that opened a year ago in Chambly, a town of about 25,000 that is 25 kilometres southeast of Montreal. “It’s like a five-star hotel,” Picard said of the rink. “It has three nice ice surfaces and a big gym, all in the same building.”

As a pair skater, Séguin is the perfect partner, standing 4-foot-10, a foot shorter than Bilodeau.  They are the right size and the right age: Bilodeau just turned 20 and the two of them can enjoy two years of eligibility at the international junior level. The plan this year is to focus on the junior level, hoping to make the Junior Grand Prix Final and the world junior championships.

But Picard is wistfully looking at the national senior pair ranks, where the third spot appears open. And at the summer provincials, Séguin and Bilodeau scored higher than another exciting new team of Nastasha Purich and Mervin Tran (at least in the short program – Purich and Tran did not do the long program). “After they’ve done their Grand Prix, we’ll see how it goes,” Picard said.

Beverley Smith

Skating season starts off in Riga, Latvia with first event on 2013-2014 ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit

OTTAWA, ON: Skate Canada will send eight skaters, for a total of four entries to the first stop on the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating circuit in Riga, Latvia. Canada will be represented in all four categories, ladies, men’s, pair and ice dance, at the competition which will run from August 28-31, 2013.

Canadian bronze medalist Alaine Chartrand, 17, Prescott, Ont., will represent Canada in the ladies division. Last season, she competed at the ISU Junior Grand Prix events in Lake Placid and Zagreb, placing seventh and sixth respectively. She also placed eighth at the 2013 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships. She is coached by Michelle Leigh and Leonid Birinberg and trains at the Nepean Skating Club in Ottawa, Ont.

Roman Sadovsky, 14, Vaughan, Ont., is the Canadian entry in the men’s division. This is Sadovsky’s third international assignment. Last season, he won bronze at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Lake Placid, USA, and placed 10th at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Bled, Slovenia. He is coached by Tracey Wainman and Gregor Filipowski at the YSRA Winter Club.

Mary Orr, 16, Brantford, Ont., and Phelan Simpson, 17, Lunenburg, N.S., are one of two teams representing Canada in pair. This is their first season competing together after partnering in the off-season. Orr and Simpson placed third and fourth, respectively in junior pair with their previous partners at the 2013 Canadian Tire National Figure Skating Championships. They are coached by Kristy Wirtz and Kris Wirtz at the Kitchener-Waterloo Skating Club.

Dylan Conway, 15, Toronto, Ont., and Dustin Sherriff-Clayton, 20, Newmarket, Ont., are the second Canadian entry in pair. This is their first international assignment. Conway and Sherriff-Clayton placed fifth at the 2013 Canadian Tire National Figure Skating Championships. The duo train at 8 Points Centre of Excellence in Markham, Ont., where they are coached by Monica Lockie.

Mackenzie Bent, 16, Uxbridge, Ont., and Garrett MacKeen, 19, Oshawa, Ont., are the sole Canadian entry in the ice dance category. Last season on the Junior Grand Prix circuit, they won bronze in Linz, Austria, and placed fourth in Zagreb, Croatia. They also placed fifth at the 2013 ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships, and reached the junior podium at the Canadian championships, placing second. They train at Scarboro Ice Dance Elite with coaches Juris Razgulajevs and Carol Lane.

Louis Stong of Etobicoke, Ont., will be the Canadian team leader, and physiotherapist Meghan Buttle of Toronto, Ont., will also accompany the team. Susan Blatz of Troy, Ont., and Jerome Poulin of Montreal, Que., will be the Canadian officials at the event.