By Camila Bolivar
Ryerson’s figure skating team finished in seventh place at this year’s Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championships which were hosted at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC).
The two-day event took place this week, ending with the Toronto Varsity Blues being crowned the OUA champions for the fifth consecutive year.
Toronto earned a total of 123 points while Western University finished in second with 88 points. In third place was McMaster University with 50 points.
Ryerson had an exciting start to the competition on day one, with the university’s very own Kaitlyn Wilson winning the gold medal in the Star 10 Singles Freeskate for the second year in a row.
This was a special skate, as Wilson prepares to say goodbye to competitive skating ahead of graduating from Ryerson in the spring. Wilson captured the only medal for Ryerson on the first day of competition.
“I skated the same program [and] I’ve been skating for four or five years,” said Wilson. “Being able to skate clean on home ice for my last competition ever was a big deal for me.”
Along with Wilson, Rams head coach and supervisor Rebecca Bourgeois and co-captain Bella Larkin will be graduating after four seasons with the team.
In the 11 events Ryerson competed in, they earned a total of 19 points. It was also the first time the OUA championships were hosted at the MAC since 2014.
To no surprise, it was the Varsity Blues that showed strong momentum on the first day of competition, medalling in all seven events they competed in.
The first competition to kick off the event was the Star 10 Similar Dance, as Emma Jianopoulos and Stephanie Carroll got the first points of the day for the Varsity Blues, securing a bronze medal.
Not long after, two Ryerson teams finished in fifth place, earning Ryerson a few points.
Kaitlyn Sims, a first-year medical physics student, skated in the novice short program. Sims also was part of the Pairs Fours team that included Julia Iaboni, Jessy Trinh and Anastasiya Romanska that finished fifth.
Throughout the season, the Pairs Fours team explored and enjoyed their dynamic as a new team, with both Trinh and Romanska joining Ryerson for their first season.
Their expectations were met during this year’s OUAs, although they admit that there is always room for improvement.
“We run this program fully twice throughout a practice and work on sections of it, depending on what needs work,” said Laboni. “We want to entertain as much as possible and do the best that we can.”
On the second day of competition, Ryerson went on to compete in the Intermediate Similar Pairs Freeskate, where Trinh and Romanska placed sixth.
Toward the end of the second day, Laboni and Karina Pronska competed in the Star 8/9 Similar Dance, earning one point for the Rams before the Synchro competition.
During their synchro performance, Ryerson secured the fifth spot, skating to a medley of The Greatest Showman.
With almost half the roster being made up of new skaters, Semi Won, a first-year journalism student, is excited about what the future holds for Ryerson’s skating program.
“Having my first OUA championship on home ice, I was very honoured to be here and I can’t wait for what’s to come,” said Won.