Mustangs skate away with OUA championship

Western figure skaters lead competition from start to finish

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Western’s figure skating team

Photo courtesy of Mustang Athletics

MORE AXELS THAN OUR UNCLE NED'S GARAGE. Western's figure skating team broke out the big guns last weekend at the OUA championships — they took home top honours. Yes, we know we spelled "axle" incorrectly.

Western’s varsity figure skating team salchowed its way to an Ontario University Athletics championship last week at Toronto’s Varsity Arena.

The Mustangs finished with 80 points, ahead of the second-place Brock Badgers with 76 points and the third-place Queen’s Golden Gaels, who finished with 74.

The first event, the Junior Silver Similar Dance, gave Western a lead it didn’t relinquish for the entire competition.

“We started the day off with a win,” said skater Brittany Bartlett. “And everyone pretty much stepped up their A-game and skated really well.”

By the end of the first day’s competition, Western lead with 51 points, 16 ahead of Brock and Toronto.

With one event remaining on the second and final day of competition, Western’s lead had been whittled down to three. The last event, synchronized skating, determined the OUA champion.

The Mustangs managed a near-flawless performance, earning silver in the event and securing the OUA championship.

“Everyone skated to their personal best,” said skater Melissa Hill. “[In our] synchro number, which has 16 of us skating, we worked so hard on over the past few weeks from our last competition at the beginning of January.”

Team member Scott Allison stressed Western’s group effort.

“I think the biggest thing was everyone working together as a team and everyone pulling out their best performances,” he said.

Bartlett said team unity impacted Western’s performance in Toronto.

“Our team was really cohesive,” she said. “Everyone cheers for each other. Even the girls who didn’t compete were really great from the bleachers.”

“I think the whole team just stepped it up,” Hill said. “We had some great skates. In general, everyone was performing really well.”

Allison also gave individual credit.

“Danielle Brick did an excellent job,” he said. “She just really stepped up her game and brought a whole lot of medals and points to the team.”

The championship was especially sweet to Hill, who started slowly this season.

“To win in the OUAs was so great because our in second competition of the season we didn’t skate as well,” she said. “Then on Thursday and Friday, everyone just had really great skates. It was wonderful to see and to participate in.”

"with files from Stephanie Ramsay

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