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Local pairs skaters bring home bronze

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Fort Frances pairs skaters Sophie Potvin-Begin, nine, and Michael Nelson, 13, brought a bronze medal back to the Border Skating Club after competing in the Introductory Pairs event at the Trillium STARSkate All Ontario Championships in Waterloo, Ont. over the weekend.

Nelson also took seventh place in the Junior Bronze Men’s Freeskate.

Club member Jillian Bobczynski also had qualified for the provincial event and finished in ninth place out of 12 competitors in the Preliminary Freeskate event.

Meanwhile, Emo skater Taylor Latimer, who now trains in Barrie, represented Northwestern Ontario in the pre-novice category and placed second.

“I’m really proud of them,” said pairs’ coach Marie Josee Potvin. “They have been working so hard and really deserve the medals.”

She added the duo skated a perfect program and there’s nothing they could have done differently.

“We’re just really pleased with the results,” she remarked, noting Potvin-Begin and Nelson had been to the all-Ontario competition last year and finished fifth, so they’ve improved.

“And they were the youngest skaters competing this year,” she added. “They’ve done very well—it’s exciting.”

Potvin noted both the long and short programs performed by Latimer were perfect, as well.

“And Jillian did well for her first experience,” she commented, although not her coach. “She stayed in control.”

Potvin was happy to see the local skaters representing Northwestern Ontario and indicated they are hoping to compete at the provincial showdown again next year.

With the local figure skating nearing the end of its season, no more competitions are scheduled for the near future.

However, the skaters are preparing for their annual ice shows.

The Emo Figure Skating Club’s Candyland-themed performance is slated for Saturday, March 24 at 6 p.m. while the Border Skating Club’s presentation of “High School Musical” will take place Saturday, March 31 at 7 p.m. and again Sunday, April 1 at 2 p.m.

Chris Mabee, the 2007 silver medallist at the Canadian championships, will join the Border Skating Club’s ice show as the guest skater.

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