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Local skaters hit gold at STARskate

Three local skaters take home gold medals.

The 2021 STARSkate Invitational returned to St. Albert over the weekend after a year-long absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The event saw 540 figure skaters from across the province descend on Servus Credit Union Place to show off their routines in front of judges. 

St. Albert Skating Centre president Lyndsay Henderson said the event has seen a few changes because of the restrictions in place in the province. 

“It’s much different than it has been in the past in terms of hospitality, spectators in the building, and the registration process has been different,” said Henderson. “The main thing is that the kids are able to compete and be on the ice.” 

The event went on without a hitch as volunteers worked hard to make sure everyone enjoyed the skating in a safe manner. 

“It takes about 100 volunteers, between club members and officials, to run this event smoothly,” said Henderson. 

It has been a while for a lot of the kids who competed. For many, this was their first time competing in front of judges since 2019. 

“[The kids] are so excited and super nervous,” said Henderson. “They are looking forward to competing and doing it again.” 

St. Albert had a hefty contingent of skaters at the event. There were 27 members from the St. Albert Skating Centre in attendance and the results were positive. 

The club saw three skaters take home gold medals as Kyla Garritano, Hailey De Lorenzi, and Kiera Berardocco finished at the top of their respective groups. Lexi Henderson skated to a silver medal while Berardocco added a silver to her winnings as well. Kaitlyn Babyak rounded out the podium finishes by securing a bronze. 

They also had a handful of skaters who just missed the podium with fourth-place finishes in Lauren Smyth, Felicity Bedard, and Heidi Rogalski. Meanwhile, Alanda Sorrel and Ibtisam Wahab claimed fifth-place finishes. 

Berardocco and Garitano said it felt nice to get back out in front of judges after such a long time.

“It was nice and lots of fun,” said Berardocco.

“It was awesome to be in front of judges and friends again,” said Garitano. 

The skaters aren’t the only ones who were excited to get back into things. St. Albert Skating Centre coach Don Cowan was also ecstatic to see skaters hit the rink. 

“It’s fabulous for the kids and great to see so many back in the building again,” said Cowan. “The energy is there and the kids are excited to be back.

“They haven’t been performing in front of judges, parents, and coaches, so that first time in a while is always nerve-wracking. But as coaches we prepare them and they’ll be good to go.” 

The Skating Centre is poised to continue the festivities into the holiday season, as it plans a Holiday Pop Concert on Dec. 18 at the Troy Murray Arena.