Katona, McComb look to make possible final run at provincials

Shane Katona and Sarah McComb are looking to make a strong run at their respective divisions at the upcoming provincials in Sudbury this weekend because it may be their last.
“This is probably my last year of skating competitively,” said the 18-year old Katona while taking a breather on the players bench of the ’52 Canadians arena during a Border Skate Club practice last week.
“I’m looking to go out of town for [college or university] next year so I want to do well,” he added.
“I don’t think I’m going to do this next year,” echoed McComb, 14, who is in her fifth year of competitive skating and 11th overall with the BSC. “I’ve done a lot of northern competitions, so I’m just going to take a break and train for a year.”
And so the duo is looking to make this weekend count.
McComb will compete in her second provincials overall, but her first as a senior silver competitor. She’s coming off a seventh-place finish in the junior silver division at last year’s event in Fort Erie.
“I hope to do better this time around,” said McComb. “[Practice] has been going really good the last couple of days.”
Each of their programs will consist of musical pieces accompanied by jumps chosen by each skater, who will then be marked on artistic impression and technical merit.
“We’re concentrating on the artistic part of Sarah’s routine,” said Marie-Josee Potvin, who coaches both McComb and Katona. “Technically, she’s doing well. She’s a really good jumper.”
“[Our program] is open, it’s to show what you can do,” said Katona. “I’m going for a more even program and doing mainly doubles.”
Sudbury will mark Katona’s second appearance at the provincials–his first in four years (he finished eighth out of 12 skaters as a senior bronze competitor in 1998).
However this year, he hasn’t faced any competition going through the regionals in Sioux Lookout (Jan. 25-27) or the Northern Ontario Skate Interclub meet in Timmins (Feb. 23-24) since there were no other male figure skaters to compete against.
“There’s usually a lot of other [male] skaters around the region, but not this year for some reason,” he noted.
But going in without a meet experience this season may put him a couple of steps back from the competition, he added.
“I’m going in fresh,” said Katona. “It’s probably a bad thing because I haven’t been subjected to a large crowd yet.
Meanwhile, McComb also had a bye in Sioux Lookout but had to skate strong in taking first-place in Timmins.
“You have to learn from your mistakes. Everything you do is a learning experience for the next time you do it,” she said.
The skaters will leave tomorrow in preparation for Friday’s practice day before the weekend competition.