Deer Lake skater strikes gold at provincials

Dave Kearsey
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Eleven-year-old Carley Bennett wins girls under 13 category

Carley Bennett, 11, a Grade 7 student at Xavier in Deer Lake, captured gold in the STAR4 Girls Under 13 category at the 2014 provincial skating championships held in Corner Brook recently. — Star photo by Geraldine Brophy

Carley Bennett loves the rush that comes with doing jumps so she plans on seeing how far she can go as a competitive skater.

Her performance at the 2014 provincial skating championships in Corner Brook earlier this year indicates she should be just fine with her decision.

The 11-year-old Grade 7 student at Xavier in Deer Lake captured gold in a field of 17 budding skaters in the Star4 Girls Under 13 category at the Pepsi Centre.

Bennett, daughter of Deer Lake’s Kerry and Sonya, has only been dabbling in skating in a non-competitive environment for the past five years. It is a sport she embraces because it’s both fun and provides a great avenue to meet new friends from all over the province who share a common interest.

“When I jump up into the air I just get this feeling when it comes it down that it’s nice to land,” she said of her biggest attraction to the sport.

“When I get on the  ice I’m happy when I go there. I definitely like to spend most of my time skating.”

A junior bronze level skater, Bennett competed in  the biggest field of the championships that is designed for advanced preliminary beginner/junior bronze level skaters.

She was quite pleased with her performance considering how nervous she gets everytime she’s cast into the limelight.

She worries about things like whether or not she will fall during her routine and also fears forgetting her routine.

“It was a clean skate overall and I landed my axles so I was pretty happy about that,” she said of her golden performance.

Her coach, Mandi Coish of Deer Lake, was particularly pleased with her skate, knowing full well how much time and effort her athlete put into her routine before stepping on the ice to perform.

“The fact she ranked first in a large group is just a little bit of the reason why I’m proud of her,” Coish said.

“She had a clean skate, which is the most important thing for any skater,” the coach added. “She was really pleased with her performance, and as her coach I was very pleased that she was able to leave the ice feeling like she brought everything to her performance that she had trained to bring.”

Coish has enjoyed working with a skater who isn’t afraid to work on honing her skills.

“She’s a very hard worker on the ice, very easy to coach and easy to deal with,” she said.

This time next year, Coish will be looking to see how Bennett adjusts to moving up to the next level.

“She’s committed and she enjoys competition,” Coish said.

“We’re hoping to move up a level for next year so competition is something that she’s going to stick with and I think that’s the area she’s going to focus on in her skating.”

Bennett shares her coach’s vision for the future so it won’t be a problem for her to commit to skating no less than three days per week like she’s been doing all season.

She’s also very interested in giving back to the sport once she’s finished her amateur skating pursuits.

She appreciates the time and patience that coaches have for their athletes, and that certainly includes Coish.

“She’s really nice and she’s fun to be taught by,” she said.

“I’d really like to stick with it and when I get older I’d like to be a coach. My coach taught me so I would like to one day teach others what I’ve been taught.”

Organizations: Xavier

Geographic location: Deer Lake, Corner Brook

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