Led by Olivia Gran, the Kelowna Skating Club has turned in its most successful showing yet at the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships.
Last week at the 2018 nationals in Vancouver, four Kelowna skaters accounted for a gold medal, a silver medal and two other top-10 performances.
The highlight of the week was provided by Gran who captured gold in national junior women’s division. On the strength of six successful triple jumps, the 14-year-old Okanagan Mission student recorded a season-best score of 149.65 points.
After a second-place finish in the short program, she made up a 3.2-point deficit to win the free program. Following the championships, Olivia was named an alternate to Canada’s junior world team.
Gran’s victory represents the first time a Kelowna skater has won a national title at the junior level. Three Kelowna skaters had previously won silver medals.
Also in the junior women’s division, Emma Bulawka, 14, opened in eighth place after the short program and followed with a 5th place finish in the free program, placing 6th overall. The Aberdeen Hall student’s total score of 131.93 would leave her less than 7 points off the podium.
At the novice women’s level, Kelowna’s Daria Carr captured the silver medal with a personal best score of 125.76 points. The Okanagan Mission student opened with a winning short program, but would finish just over two points shy of title winner Amelia Orzel of Ontario.
Kelowna’s Vienna Harwood had a successful debut at the Canadians, finishing in 10th place in the field of Canada’s top 18 novice female skaters. The 12-year-old Okanagan Mission student opened with a 13th place short program but pulled up with a ninth place free program.
In the senior dance division, Kelowna’s Haley Sales and her partner Nik Wamsteeker finished in sixth place with a total score of 154.74 points.
“This is the greatest showing by our club at the nationals,” said KSC Director Jason Mongrain. “Just having four singles skaters qualify from a city of our size is fantastic, much less having all four place in the top 10 with two medals. And Olivia’s title is a first for our club and an unbelievable achievement.”