by Alina Konevski
Kelowna skaters came out on top at the pre-novice women short program at the B.C. Winter Games. McKenna Colthorp, Ajsha Gorman, and Rochelle
Reeve took the top three spots out of 17 girls at the Mission Leisure Centre on Friday afternoon.
Abbotsford’s Jessica Mchugh came in fourth.
Colthorp walked away with 35.60 points, well ahead of her closest competitor, Gorman, who skated to second place with 29.95 points.
It was a tough show as several girls fell hard on the ice, but none showed it.
That included Gorman. The 12-year-old is ranked fourth in the country.
She tried a challenging routine at the B.C. Winter Games, and fell
twice on jumps. She still placed second overall. With a decade of skating under her wings, Gorman knows what she’s doing on the
competitive ice. She came over to talk about her performance just seconds after the skate.
“I rushed the takeoff,” said Gorman. “I didn’t fully commit to it. I wasn’t sold on it.”
After the first jump didn’t land, it was hard to keep motivated on the others, Gorman admitted. She fell on her second jump as well.
“You’re just trying your best to continue and do your best,” she said. “It’s not
the end. There’s always another chance to redeem yourself… I have taken way worse falls than that.”
That kind of mature self-reflection will serve Gorman well as she gets another step closer to her goal of skating at the Olympics.
In third place at the pre-novice women short program was Reeve, who scored 29.76 points – a breath behind Gorman.
Abbotsford skater Mchugh had a remarkably clean performance, landing her in fourth with 27.86 points.
“It was really good,” said Mchugh.
Next time, she says, she’ll try to get a few more points by doing two rotations on her double axel instead of one.
“(I would) put the double toe on the double axel. I singled it on the ice, and you get a minus three for doing that.”
Mchugh has been skating for about eight years. The double axel especially came naturally to her; she landed it on her third lesson.
As a child, she tried gymnastics first but it’s skating that has really stuck.
“I get to feel free on the ice and really perform,” she said. “I get nervous, but it’s not as bad once I start skating. It all goes away.”
Her calmness showed on Friday.
Next year, Mchugh is headed to novice skate – her first shot at playing in the nationals.
“We’re really proud of Jessica and all she’s accomplished,” said coach Matt MacMurdo. “She trained really hard for this. She is a natural. She lives for the moment, and that’s what being a competition skater is all about.”