Figure skating takes third

Team recovers after poor first day of OUA championships in Guelph

The Queen’s figure skating team came back after a slow start to capture eight medals on their way to a third-place finish at the OUA championships Feb. 20-21 in Guelph.

The Gaels sat in seventh place after their first day of competition, but found their way back to the podium through rookie skater Sarah Farrow’s outstanding performance.

Farrow collected bronze medals in the open solo dance, short program and as part of the pairs four.

Farrow said she felt the judges could have been more informed about the rules of university figure skating.

“A lot of the events are hard to judge. University skating isn’t the same as you see on TV. There are different rules,” she said. “It’s hard if the judges don’t know all the rules.”

Captain Casey Baldovin said she was pleased with the way the team handled the judging.

“I think the team as a whole had a good performance. I was proud of the way we conducted ourselves,” she said. “In figure skating, judging doesn’t go as well as you hoped it would.”

Baldovin attributed the second day’s outstanding performance to team psychologist Johnny Yap, who helped the team regroup and prepare for the final day of competition.

“We were lucky to have a team psychologist. There are a lot of mental aspects to figure skating,” she said.

“After the first day, we had a meeting with everyone and just got our frustrations out. We went into the next day with the mentality to do what we have been doing all year, and this time we had the whole team behind us.”

The duo of Kimberly Hord and Kate Phillips won Queen’s lone gold medal in the dance variation event. Queen’s also captured a silver medal from Justin O’Shaughnessy of Belleville, Ont. in the men’s open free skate.

The Gaels also had medal results from Jessica Bouchard and Cathryn Schroeder in the senior similar pairs and Katie Farrow —Sarah’s older sister and team co-captain—and Kelsey Newhook in the intermediate similar pairs.

With the season over, the team won’t miss catching the 5:45 a.m. bus outside the PEC to ensure they make 6 a.m. practices at the Wally Elmer arena.

“We practice four mornings a week,” Farrow said. “We’d be skating at six in the morning in our scarves and winter jackets. The Wally Elmer was always 10 degrees colder inside than outside.

“Thankfully next year we’ll be practicing at the Memorial Centre.”

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