Skaters answer Western Challenge, advance to Nationals

Four local skaters have advanced to the Canadian Figure Skating Championships after impressive showings at the BMO Skate Canada Western Challenge held at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Dec. 3-7.

The Burlington Skating Club’s Rylie McCulloch-Casarsa took first place in the Junior Women’s section to earn her trip to the Nationals in Saskatoon, Sask., in January. Joining her will be club mate Meghan Dwyer who took third place in the same division.

A fourth place finish for Maja Vermeulen and Andrew Doleman, representing the Wentworth SC, will see them competing in Junior Dance.

Bryce Davison, who represents the Hamilton SC, with pair partner Jessica Dubé has automatic entry to the Senior Pair category at the Canadian championships. Andrew Britten, who represents the Burlington SC, with dance partner Sophie Knippel, will also compete at the nationals in Junior Dance since they chose to use their bye.

The Western Challenge also saw a number of skaters advance to the Skate Canada Junior Nationals. Placing fourth in the Novice Women section was Christina Liao (Burlington SC) while Elizabeth Liao (Burlington SC) had a sixth place showing. In Novice Dance, Brittany Doleman (Wentworth SC) and Dylan Simpson (Kitchener-Waterloo SC) advanced after placing third.

Also competing at the Western Challenge but not advancing were: In Senior Women, Kristy Bell (Burlington SC), 117th; Kerry Meagher (Hamilton SC). 24th; In Novice Men, Aleksandr Eng (Hamilton SC), 13th; and in Pre-Novice Men, Pierre Albanese (Burlington SC), 14th.

For additional information contact Hazel Boon at 905-524-3345 or