Emma Bulawka and Olivia Gran will lead Kelowna Skating Club athletes into the national championships next month after qualifying for the prestigious event last weekend in Alberta.
KSC is sending five skaters to Mississauga, tying a club record for most athletes going for gold.
“It is pretty amazing to have five girls qualify for Canadians,” KSC director Jason Mongrain wrote in an email. “It’s also promising in that there is still room for improvement. They will be working hard over the next six weeks to peak at the right time.”
KSC made up a large part of a successful BC Team at the Skate Canada Challenge event, held in Edmonton last week.
The Challenge featured Canada’s top skaters competing for national championship berths in the novice, junior and senior levels. Kelowna had representatives at all three levels.
In the senior women’s division, 16-year-old Bulawka scored 146.62 points en route to a sixth-place finish, qualifying her to the Canadian championships in Mississauga in January.
Kelowna’s Gran also qualified for the nationals by way of a 15th-place finish.
At the junior women’s level, 14-year-old Vienna Harwood opened with a third-place short program and finished eighth overall with 129.71 points.
Teammate Ashley Sales finished 14th overall with 121.31 points. Mikayla Kramer finished 33rd.
Sales and Harwood both qualified for nationals with their respective top-18 finishes.
In the novice group, 13-year-old Malayna Lesko had a strong showing in her first trip to the Skate Canada Challenge. She scored 106.39 points, placing in 15th. Lesko will also represent B.C. and Yukon at the nationals.
Kelowna’s Emily Sales also represented BC and Yukon, finishing 28th overall.
Skate Canada Challenge also served as the national championship for pre-novice level skaters.
Gabrielle Jugnauth, 11, made her Challenge debut in the women’s field, finishing 15th overall.