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Chan and Chartrand win national skating titles

Patrick Chan and Alaine Chartrand win the individual competitions at the National Skating Championships.

National Champions Patrick Chan (left) and Alaine Chartrand
National Champions Patrick Chan (left) and Alaine Chartrand.   Skate Canada/Stephan Potopnyk

Men’s – Patrick Chan is back

Patrick Chan dominated the men’s category to claim his eighth national title.

His free skate, full of pace and power, was on a different level than anything his competitors could manage. 

“I feel happy. It’s been a great week. Such a good learning week. It’s what I needed going forward for the rest of the season,” said Chan.

Chan, a three-time world champion, took a break from skating last season.

“Honestly, back then – back last year in January – I didn’t think about being here. I don’t think I’d made up my mind just quite then at that point about whether I was really going to come back,” he said.

Chan’s decision to get back on the ice was vindicated in a stunning fashion on Saturday night. His performance, to a medley of music by Frédéric Chopin, was awarded 192.09 – more than 30 points clear of his nearest rival. His overall total, including the short program, was 295.67.

With eight national titles, he joins Brian Orser in second on the all-time list of winners, one place behind Montgomery Wilson.

At the end of March, in Boston, Chan hopes to add to his tally of world titles.

Liam Firus finished second, with an overall score of 237.20. Kevin Reynolds, also returning from an injured year out, came third with a score of 236.18.

Women’s – Chartrand takes her first national title

Alaine Chartrand took first place with a stunning performance in the free skate. Chartrand, ranked second after the short program, scored 133.18 in the free for a total score of 201.99.

Visibly shocked, she said, “I’ve done two clean programs, so I can’t be happier. I did my job.”

Chartrand, dancing to a compilation of music from the film Gone With The Wind, performed in an amazing fashion when the pressure was on. The crowd was on its feet well before the end of her routine, sensing something special.

“I try not to think, ‘Oh I’m skating clean, it’s going to be a great program,’ at any point,” she said. “People were screaming and building with the music. I was just like, ‘Don’t fall on your spin, just make it to the end’.”

Minutes earlier, Gabrielle Daleman performed an impressive routine full of power to score 133.55; she lay down the gauntlet for the two remaining competitors. In the end though, it was only good enough to score second, as her lower short program score left her with a total of 197.99.

Kaetlyn Osmond, leader from the short program, had two tiny stumbles in her free skate. These were enough to lower her mark to 127.24 for a total of 197.87 in third place.

As expected, these three skaters were well clear of the field. More than 16 points separated third and fourth place.

Pairs – Duhamel and Radford win fifth consecutive title

Meagan Duhamel being thrown into a spin by Eric Radford
Meagan Duhamel being thrown into a spin by Eric Radford   Skate Canada/Stephan Potopnyk

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford won the title for the fifth time, but not without a huge scare.

“Honestly, when we finished, we were like, ‘Ooh I wonder if it was enough?’ We weren’t sure actually. Because we were good, but we weren’t perfect,” said Duhamel.

A poor performance by their standards in the short routine meant the pair only had a four point advantage. Ranked second before the free skate, Julianne Séguin and Charlie Bilodeau performed a wonderful routine that was met by a standing ovation.

But it was not quite enough.

Duhamel and Radford had a couple of minor stumbles in their free routine, but their superior degree of difficulty saw them home. They received 148.72 for the free, giving them 221.75 overall.

Séguin and Bilodeau placed second with a score of 211.40. Lubov Ilyushechkina and Dylan Moscovitch placed third with 204.22.

Ice Dance – Weaver and Poje retain their title

Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje during their free skate program in the ice dance category
Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje during their free skate program in the ice dance category   Skate Canada/Stephan Potopnyk

Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje skated beautifully to comfortably claim their second national championship.

The pair, so often in the shadow of former olympic gold medallists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, have dominated the event since the retirement of the six-time national champions.

“I think last year was monumental. We’ve been working our whole lives to be Canadian champions,” said Weaver. “I’m happy to say were not just a blip on the champions’ record list. I think two-times means your not just 15 minutes of fame.”

They were awarded a total of 191.73 to win by nearly 12 points, but Poje says there’s still more to come.

“We weren’t happy with everything, but at the same point we’re pleased that we’re not happy with ourselves because we want to use this as building momentum and building our confidence in the subtle things, for later down the road and the world championships,” he said.

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier came in second with a score of 179.82. Elisabeth Paradis and Francois-Xavier Ouellete came third with a score of 165.83.

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