By Steve Hubrecht

[email protected]

The Columbia Valley Skating Club (CVSC) recently returned from the regional Kootenay Championship figure skating competition in Creston, putting in a stellar performance and bringing home a pile of medals and a major award, along with other honours.

In total, 14 of the club’s 22 StarSkaters headed to the event in Creston, held the weekend of February 18 and 19. 

Coach Hailey Beddie and club board member, Bailey Yeats, outlined that the club is very proud of all the skaters who took part in the competition.

In terms of medals, local skater Kara Kakuno earned a bronze medal in Star 7 short freeskate program; Ocea Dubray took the bronze medal in the Star 9 short freeskate program as well as the silver medal in the Star 10 freeskate program and; Ocea and Kara together with Kayla Wolfenden and Kim Heart Dema-Ala, earned gold in the group showcase 4 event.

Kayla also earned the Rolf Benner Memorial Award.

“This award is given to the most artistic skater in the Star 5 freeskate program and is picked by the judges. This was a unanimous decision by the judges. ‘Artistic’ means she interpreted the music well, used her entire body in her movements, had great facial expression and eye contact, and made us just want to keep watching,” explained Beddie.

In addition to her medals, Ocea was chosen to represent the Kootenay region at the super series final in Kelowna, in Star 10 freeskate.

“This is based off of points and her participation within our region. Ocea attended all events put on by the region and exceeded the benchmark for points. Her placement within the super series final will give points toward the region and will show where the Kootenay region sits within the province,” outlined Beddie.

For four CVSC skaters — Paula Hemmelgarn, Sophia Unger, Nora Solo and Anna McCormack — were competing for the very first time.

Other skaters who represented the club at the Kootenay Championship include Kenley Kreutzer, Brylie Yeats, Rooney Wilson, Madelyn O’Connor, Kimberley Heart Dema-Ala, Shayla Franson, Lexie Franson. 

Yeats extended a hearty thanks to Beddie and fellow coach Marni Kreutzer.