Three members of the NOTL Skating Club have qualified to compete in the Skate Ontario provincial championships.
Ashleen Hale, Samantha Frydryk and Ophelia Xie will skate in the competition set for the Stratford Rotary Complex from March 24 to 26.
Their performances extended the club’s tradition of having skaters compete in the Ontario championships every year for more than two decades, said spokesperson Darlene Dortono.
The only years missed were 2020 and 2021, when COVID cancelled the competition.
Hale qualified in both her events – STAR 9 O14 Women and Gold Women.
At the end of the qualifying round, the Niagara-on-the-Lake teenager was ranked number 1 in Ontario in STAR 9 O14 Women and fifth in the province in Gold Women.
At last year’s provincials, Hale finished third in Gold Women and fourth in STAR 9, while Xie was eighth in the STAR 5 U13 Women event.
Those results earned them spots on the Skate Ontario development team, said Dortono.
That meant they could attend a development camp and train with Skate Canada technical specialists and elite-level athletes.
Frydryk, from St. Catharines, is making her first trip to the provincials and ranked 24th in the STAR 5 O13 category.
Xie, from Niagara Falls, finished 33rd in her STAR 6 Women’s event to qualify for Stratford.
The three skaters all are coached by Judi Boyle-Krzeczkowski, the NOTL club’s director of skating programs.
“These girls are terrific role models within the club,” Dortono said.
“On top of their four to five days per week training schedule, they also volunteer their time four to five per week as on-ice program assistants for our CanSkate programs,” she added.
In addition, they are top students at school and are involved in other extracurricular activities, she said.
The provincial competition will be live-streamed again this year and, once expected skating times are available, the NOTL club will post links on its Facebook page.