Journal Athletes of the Week

Jamie Stuckless and Laura Keating
Figure Skating

Last weekend Jaime Stuckless and Laura Keating turned an apparent obstacle into a golden stepping stone. The two Gael figure skaters went to the OUA championships expecting to dance the routine they had been preparing all season in the Senior Silver Similar Dance, but due to a misunderstanding with officials, Stuckless and Keating had to dance a routine that they had not used in more than a year.

After hastily practicing the routine off-ice the pair took to the ice and nailed their performance, earning their first OUA gold medals.

“We’re thrilled! We’ve been skating together for such a long time,” Stuckless said. “[Keating] is one of my closest friends, and we did really well together.”

“I was really impressed with how we pulled it together,” said Keating. “We worked together, had a great time, skated for ourselves and for the team.”

On top of their premier performance in the Similar Dance event, the pair joined teammates Janel Young and Casey Baldovin in the Bronze Rhythm and added another OUA gold medal.

Stuckless and Keating said they each skated throughout childhood and began competitive competition in high school. The Calgary-born Keating and Kanata-born Stuckless are both in their third year at Queen’s and have been skating as a pair for the last two seasons.

During last year’s OUA championships the pair brought home the silver in the Similar Dance, which they said made this season’s gold-medal performance even more meaningful.

Stuckless attributed much of the duo’s success to the support of their teammates.

“During the warm-up we do the Oil Thigh in the stands together, and that really inspired us,” she said.

“That’s why we do so well—we’re all working together,” Keating added. “It’s not just the two of us. We’re part of something much bigger.”

Bill Woods
Men’s Track

Bill Woods must have high expectations for himself. Despite bringing home an OUA silver medal in triple jump over Reading Week, Woods said he’s not very happy with his performance right now.

“I’ve got plenty more in me,” he said. “I’m not doing many things right right now. I have a lot of little technical problems.”

If he is right about his level of performance, he figures to have a good chance at stepping back on the podium at the CIS championships in a week’s time.

Woods, a fifth-year Commerce student out of Gananoque Secondary School, said that he has now achieved one of his season goals, but has two more outstanding.

“One was to break 15 metres, which I haven’t,” he said. “One was to be in the top two at the OUA [championships], and one was to be top two at the CIS [championships].”

His personal best is 14.75 metres, putting him close to the coveted 15-metre mark. He said he thinks he will be able to raise the bar when he arrives in Saskatoon.

“I should be able to [improve on my jumps thus far],” he said. “It’ll definitely be a season best.”

Woods is no stranger to the podium either, having won two OUA bronze medals and an OUA silver, as well as a CIS bronze last year. He credits some of his success to those around him.

“Working with the likes of [long-jumper] Jon [Martin] all the time really pushes me,” he said. “He’s probably one of the best athletes at the school. And my coach, Ted Farndon, is phenomenal. He notices the little things and conveys it all to you in a good way.”

The CIS championships will be Woods’ last meet. He said he is looking forward to it, and that he wants to leave his mark.

“I’m looking forward just to being there with the team we have,” he said. “I’m going to go out with a bang, hopefully.”

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