Border skaters land on podium

Mitch Calvert

The stars of the Border Skating Club shone brightly at the Trillium STARSkate All-Ontario Championships and Trillium Cup figure skating competitions this past weekend in Waterloo, Ont.
Jillian Bobczynski skated to a silver medal in the ladies’ senior bronze freeskate event while Michael Nelson turned in a bronze medal-winning performance in the men’s junior silver freeskate event.
Nelson and Sophie Potvin-Begin also skated in the Trillium Cup, placing fourth in the juvenile pairs freeskate.
Chloe Hudson, meanwhile, had an eighth-place finish in the ladies’ junior bronze freeskate.
“I’m really happy,” Bobczynski, 13, said of her performance. “My main thing is to stay really focused on the jumps I’m doing.
“I just pay attention to what I’m doing on the ice, and don’t pay attention to anything that will take me off my jumps and my focus,” she noted.
Bobczynski landed several of her jumps, including a double flip and a double loop, with her only slip-up coming on her double lutz.
“I was really nervous going in,” she admitted. “I’ve had to practise dealing with nerves all year because they get to me a lot.”
Bobczynski’s solo routine was skated to the tune of “Samson and Delilah.”
“My solo at the ice show [April 4-5] is going to be “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” and I’m in a group one which will be doing ‘Hairspray,’” Bobczynski noted.
“The show is a Broadway theme and should be fun,” she enthused.
Nelson, 15, who has been skating for eight years, felt he left a little on the ice in Waterloo but still was happy to make the podium.
“It wasn’t my best skate, but I was pleased with the results,” he remarked. “I haven’t put a double axel into my program yet, but I’m thinking next year I will take that step.”
The pair of Nelson and Potvin-Begin, coached by Marie Potvin for five years now, just missed the podium after finishing first at the event last year.
“Last year we placed first, but this year we were in a higher level of competition,” Nelson explained. “It was our second time competing at that level, so it was a good skate for us overall.”
Nelson said he’s happy with the strides he’s made this season under the tutelage of long-time coach Penny McComb, noting he emulates the style of now-retired Canadian figure skater Jeffrey Buttle.
“I really like the artistic elements in his skating, and he’s a really strong, fluent skater, and I just like watching him skate,” Nelson noted.
Once school is finished in June, Nelson, Bobczynski, Potvin-Begin, and Hudson will be off to the Mariposa School of Skating in Barrie, Ont. for a seven-week training stint.