Several competitors emerged as the best in the country at the 2022 Canadian Figure Skating Championships.
The competition didn't directly determine the spots for the upcoming Winter Olympics in February, but the senior event champions are all heading to Beijing, China after finishing at the top of their categories. Others also punched their tickets following strong showings during the week at TD Place Arena in Ottawa, Ontario.
1. Keegan Messing (258.03)
2. Roman Sadovsky (247.60)
3. Wesley Chiu (232.04)
Olympic selections: Keegan Messing, Roman Sadovsky
Keegan Messing earned his first Canadian national championship after several tries at this level:
Jacqueline Doorey @jackydoorey
After representing Canada internationally for 8 years, Keegan Messing wins his first national title. <br><br>Love to see it.<br><br>Roman Sadovsky takes silver, Wesley Chiu bronze.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CTNSC22?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CTNSC22</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Beijing2022?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Beijing2022</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FigureSkating?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FigureSkating</a> <a href="https://t.co/nf5Dfm0SV2">pic.twitter.com/nf5Dfm0SV2</a>
The 29-year-old completed two triple axels in the free skate as well as two quad toe loops that helped boost his score.
Interestingly, this all came after his skates were lost in transit heading into the championship.
Messing finished 12th at the 2018 Olympics, but he will look for a better showing this time around.
Roman Sadovsky earned second place despite sitting in fourth after the short program. He turned things around in the free skate with a routine that featured several difficult combinations.
1. Madeline Schizas (198.24)
2. Veronik Mallet (170.65)
3. Gabrielle Daleman (167.50)
Olympic selection: Madeline Schizas
It was a one woman show in the ladies competition as Madeline Schizas pulled away from the field for a win.
Lukas Weese @Weesesports
FIGURE SKATING: Madeline Schizas has won her first national championship at the <a href="https://twitter.com/SkateCanada?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SkateCanada</a> Nationals in Ottawa. <br><br>This is the Oakville, Ontario native's first national title of her career, likely securing her spot at the upcoming Beijing Olympics. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Beijing2022?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Beijing2022</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Olympics?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Olympics</a> <a href="https://t.co/sQEI6waBtF">pic.twitter.com/sQEI6waBtF</a>
The 18-year-old gave herself more than a 10-point head start with a score of 72.05 in the short program. While this meant she could take it easy in the free skate, she refused to back down while starting the routine with a triple lutz, triple toe loop combination.
The base value for that first element alone was higher than anything anyone else in the field did during their free skate.
Schizas continued the success for the full skate and earned the gold medal by nearly a 20-point margin.
Despite finishing in 13th place at the most recent World Championships, the young skater has a chance to do damage at her first Olympics.
1. Kirsten Moore-Towers/Michael Marinaro (212.54)
2. Evelyn Walsh/Trennt Michaud (186.52)
3. Deanna Stellato/Maxime Deschamps (178.60)
Olympic selections: Kirsten Moore-Towers/Michael Marinaro, Vanessa James/Eric Radford
The most controversial Olympic selection likely came in pairs, where Evelyn Walsh and Trennt Michaud finished second but were passed over for Vanessa James and Eric Radford.
Walsh and Michaud performed well in Ottawa, earning second place in both the short program and free skate, but it wasn't enough to get an Olympic spot.
"They're more than disappointed, they're a bit heartbroken," coach Alison Purkiss said of the young pair, via Isha Bhargava of CBC. "They came in really prepared and focused and felt like they had a legitimate shot, so that was hard on them."
Vanessa James and Eric Radford are going to Beijing despite not finishing the competition:
Jacqueline Doorey @jackydoorey
After placing 4th in the short, Vanessa James & Eric Radford opt not to finish competing at Canadian Nationals & officially withdraw.<br><br>Both contracted Covid-19 during the holidays & had just 4 days of training before Nationals.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CTNSC22?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CTNSC22</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Beijing2022?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Beijing2022</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FigureSkating?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FigureSkating</a>
The past success was clearly a factor, with Eric Radford having two world championship gold medals in pairs with a different partner. He helped Canada earn team gold at the 2018 Olympics. Vanessa James earned a bronze at the 2018 world championships in pairs.
Of course, everyone is behind Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro after the duo cruised to their third victory in the Canada national championships. The team especially pulled away thanks to the 71.07 score on the program component, easily the best in the field.
They will try to turn that into success in the Olympics.
Senior Ice Dance
1. Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (219.24)
2. Laurence Fournier-Beaudry/Nikolaj Soerensen (206.65)
3. Marjorie Lajoie/Zachary Lagha (192.67)
Olympic selections: Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier, Laurence Fournier-Beaudry/Nikolaj Soerensen, Marjorie Lajoie/Zachary Lagha
The deepest event for Canada is ice dance, which will send three different teams to the Olympics.
Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier earned their second straight gold at this event with a nearly flawless performance:
Team Canada @TeamCanada
🎶 I guess that's why they call it... a stellar performance ⛸️ <br><br>👀 Watch Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier in action at the Canadian Figure Skating Championship today from 2 p.m ET on <a href="https://twitter.com/cbcsports?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CBCSports</a> 📺 or watch it online 💻 ➡️ <a href="https://t.co/J7V8MPhaXU">https://t.co/J7V8MPhaXU</a><br><br>🎥 <a href="https://twitter.com/CBCOlympics?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CBCOlympics</a> <a href="https://t.co/Cn5hzRojJG">pic.twitter.com/Cn5hzRojJG</a>
During the free skate, the winning pair performed to "The Long and Winding Road" and executed all of their elements. The program component score featured many perfect 10s from the judges while no one posted anything lower than 9.50 in any category.
Laurence Fournier-Beaudry and Nikolaj Soerensen kept things close while topping 200 in the overall score, but there was still a significant gap at the top.
These two pairings will now be teammates for Canada, along with Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha.
1. Anthony Paradis (189.57)
2. Grayson Long (189.15)
3. John Kim (187.52)
1. Justine Miclette (170.01)
2. Fiona Bombardier (158.71)
3. Michelle Deng (152.01)
1. Brooke McIntosh / Benjamin Mimar (155.95)
2. Summer Homick / Marty Haubrich (136.24)
3. Emy Carignan / Bryan Pierro (133.85)
1. Natalie D Alessandro / Bruce Waddell (175.03)
2. Nadiia Bashynska / Peter Beaumont (170.79)
3. Miku Makita / Tyler Gunara (163.00)
Three women topped 100 points on the free skate in the junior competition, but Justine Miclette earned the win thanks to her consistency across the two routines.
Skate Canada / Patinage Canada @SkateCanada
Junior Women’s final results: / Résultats finaux des femmes juniors <br><br>🥇 Justine Miclette, 170.01 <br>🥈 Fiona Bombardier, 158.71 <br>🥉 Michelle Deng, 152.01 <br><br>📸 <a href="https://twitter.com/DanielleEPhoto?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DanielleEPhoto</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CTNats22?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CTNats22</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CreatingHistory?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CreatingHistory</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cr%C3%A9erlHistoire?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CréerlHistoire</a> <a href="https://t.co/M2ZnPiyBSQ">pic.twitter.com/M2ZnPiyBSQ</a>
The Quebec representative scored a 61.43 in the short program before totaling 108.58 in the free skate, the best mark in both events.
Fiona Bombardier was only in fourth place after the short before shooting to second, while Michelle Deng sat in fifth after day one. It allowed Miclette to easily win the competition by a double-digit margin.
The junior men's event was even closer with four skaters within just three points after the short program.
Anthony Paradis pulled out the narrow win despite finishing fourth in the short program, edging Grayson Long by just .42 points. Long suffered a fall during Thursday's free skate, leading to a point deduction that cost him a championship.
Paradis had a cleaner final run, earning a 57.13 elements score that was enough to secure the gold.