CORNER BROOK — Matthew and Alexandra Young face tougher competition now that they’ve moved up to the junior division, but they still continue to improve with each spin around the ice.
The Young silblings, members of the Silver Blades Skating Club in Corner Brook, recorded personal bests in both the short and long program en route to a sixth-place showing at the Eastern Challenge in Mississauga, Ont. over the weekend. The siblings will now skate for their province at the 2011 BMO Skate Canada Junior Nationals Jan. 17-20 in Victoria. B.C.
In a field of 11 teams, the Youngs held down eighth spot after the short program, but managed to turn in a solid long program to move up two places in the standings.
The duo, who train in Montreal for most of the winter, actually broke a Skate Newfoundland and Labrador record with their final score of 106. 84 in junior pairs. The previous record holders — Alisha Coolin and Ryan Sutherland of Prince of Wales Skating Club — posted a final score of 93.98 at the 2006 nationals.
Matthew, 19 and Alexandra, 16, didn’t enter the event with big expectations because it’s their first year in the junior division, but they were pleased wit how things unfolded.
“We really didn’t have any goals as to where we wanted to place. Our goal was basically to go out and see how much we could increase our score by. We’re really pleased,” Matthew said in a telephone interview from Montreal Monday.
Alexandra echoed his sentiments about setting a provincial record and laying out a solid program.
“We were really happy. We both skated really well,” Alexandra said.
While the Young siblings come as a package most of the time, Alexandra also competed in singles in the novice women’s division and qualified for the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax. She finished in the middle of the pack in 31st place with a final score of 78.12 in a field of 52 skaters, but more importantly she had personal best in both her short (28.12) and long (50.0) programs.
“That was one of my goals for the season,”she said. “I just went out to skate my personal bests.”