Queen’s Figure Skating picks up four medals at OUAs

Gaels finish fifth overall, earn gold in Open Rhythm and Dance Fours

The Queen's Figure Skating team, pictured.
Credit: 
Supplied by Trina Dykstra-MacPherson

The Queen’s Varsity Figure Skating team twizzled their way to the spotlight and hardware at the OUA Championship hosted by the McMaster Marauders Mar. 29 to 30. 

As a team, the Gaels finished in fifth place behind Brock, McMaster, Western, and the University of Toronto. Toronto clinched their sixth-straight provincial title at the championship. 

“We were all just really excited to have our first competition [in the past two years],” junior co-captain Trina Dykstra-MacPherson, ArtSci ’23, told The Journal in an interview.

“Every event had a good skate, and every event gave it their all. With the artistry and everything, you could tell [the team] really enjoyed being there.”

Queen’s excelled in the high dance events, with Colleen Tordoff, ArtSci ’24, Keelee Gingrich, ArtSci ’22, Olivia McIsaac, ArtSci ’24, and Anna Ljungberg, Comm ’22, skating to gold in Dance Fours. 

“We were all holding our breath on their twizzle sequence,” Dykstra-Macpherson said. “As soon as they got it, you could tell that right after the most stressful part of the program, they sold it.”

Gingrich and McIsaac also took home a gold medal in the Open Rhythm category.

“[Gingrich and McIsaac] have so much grace and so much passion for dance, and it was so well-deserved,” Dykstra-MacPherson said.

“They absolutely killed it. No crumbs are left.”

To round out the Gaels’ medal count, Tordoff and Shaundra Buelow, ArtSci ’22, earned bronze in the Star 10 Similar Dance, and Juliana Ye, Comm ’24, skated to a third-place finish in the Star 10 Solo Dance.

Dykstra-Macpherson iterated that everyone on the team played a role in securing a spot in the top five. Not one Queen’s skater finished in the bottom two of their event, meaning every skate accumulated points towards the team’s total score.

“Even if we collectively couldn't get the medal, that’s okay. Together we still managed to keep that scoreboard going up,” she said.

Queen’s was tied for third place after day one and throughout most of day two until the synchro—an event where 16 skaters take to the ice to perform a synchronized set of moves. 

“It honestly just came down to the fact that our difficulty for our synchro routine didn't match the rest of the competition. We decided to play it safe and go with more basic, lower levels to get good [grades of executions] and to make them count,” Dykstra-MacPherson explained. 

“There's nothing that we could have changed to make the points go any higher than what we did. Everyone just gave it their full 110 per cent.”

Dykstra-MacPherson emphasized that while figure skating is an individual sport, everybody—from the athletes to the coaches—plays a part in each other’s success.

“It’s no longer about coming in to do your individual event and then [you] just leave. We're in it together,” Dykstra-MacPherson said.

“One person's triumph is everyone's triumph. One person not-best skate is also everyone's not-best skate. We’re going to be there through thick and thin together, and that’s the biggest thing I’ve noticed on this team.” 

For Dykstra-MacPherson, the team’s strong performance at OUAs proved that a podium placement is well within reach next year.

 “The team is more driven than ever to continue with this uphill slope. It’s going to be a battle, but we're going to get there,” she said.

“In the end, the goals don't change. It is always to just go out there, have fun, and skate your best.”

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