Skaters, start your sit spins.
On January 11, the 2015 Interlake Regional STARSkate Championships land at the Arborg Skating Club. A total of 66 skaters will vie for medals and ribbons, plus the opportunity to represent their club at the Manitoba Open and STARSkate Championship. Skaters will travel to Arborg from East St. Paul, Stony Mountain, Stonewall, Selkirk, Ashern, Lundar, and Skate Interlake (Gimli) for the annual competition.
“I’m hoping there will be lots of community attending,” said Sherri Orbanski, Arborg Skating Club president. “I think there could potentially be a lot of people.”
This season’s regionals will be different than previous years. The competition aspect at some levels has been eliminated. From STAR 1 to 5, rather than medals, skaters will display their elements without music, and receive a score sheet and ribbon.
According to Orbanski, other skating sections in Manitoba and other provinces have implemented the system with positive results.
“It’ll be very much a learning curve for everybody,” said Orbanski.
Arborg SC’s eight-year-old Emma Barkman said she’s “excited” to compete at her first regionals. Skating at the STAR 1 level, she’ll perform her “half-flip, half-Lutz, back spin and one-foot spin” for the judges.
Medals come into play at the senior bronze and junior silver levels, where skaters tackle double jumps and flying spins.
Natasha English and Olivia Orbanski have represented Arborg at numerous regionals and provincial competitions.
“I just think I’m going to go out there and skate and do my best,” said English, who’ll skate to selections from The Golden Compass at the senior bronze free skate level.
Olivia, whose program is “fast, jazzy music,” share a similar strategy, with a twist.
“That’s what I figured,” said 12-year-old Olivia, who’ll compete in the junior silver free skate, “before I say, and I joke around, ‘I’m going to ace this.’ ”
English competed at the 2015 Skate Canada Manitoba Sectionals in Pre-Juvenile under-14, where she placed fourth. Olivia was 13th at the 2014 Manitoba Power Smart Games in Winkler, and won a silver medal at last year’s regionals and placed fifth at provincials.
The two will partner up for the STAR 5 team event, where they’ll be judged on their Axel, double-toe, double Salchow and combination spin. Last year, the duo placed third in the segment, and they seem confident about their chances.
“We’re small and tall on ice,” said Olivia.
Also published on the Interlake Spectator website