Skaters sharpen skills quickly

Glengarry Figure skaters Nadia Snyman and Jordana McEachern have made large improvements this season

Nadia Snyman and Jordana McEachern

Nadia Snyman and Jordana McEachern

Figure skaters Nadia Snyman and Jordana McEachern have made big strides this season, especially with points.

It all started in Burnaby Aug. 15-18 for the members of the Glengarry Figure Skating Club. Snyman scored 12.58 points in the BC/YK Super Series SummerSkate, then made a bigger jump, said coach Trevor Buttenham, with a 16.60 in Chilliwack’s Autumn Leaves in mid-October. The 12-year-old made another climb to 17.10 in the Okanagan Interclub event in Winfield.

“That’s a massive improvement. It’s not just in the jump,” he said. “Her basic skating skills have improved so much this season it’s really remarkable. She is really coming into her own.”

McEachern, who competes in the Star 5 under-13 with Snyman, scored higher in the first event with 13.77, then rose to 14.61 in the Autumn Leaves and 15.58 in the Okanagan Interclub.

“Jordana has really improved on her jumps,” said Buttenham. “She has actually gone further than anyone else in the club.”

Buttenham said the week before summer skate in August, McEachern was having problems landing a decent axel, which is the basis of the double jumps.

“From then until now, I have seen Jordana land several different jumps,” he said, with the exception of the double axel.

When it comes to Snyman’s improvement, Buttenham said it likely has to do with her age and leaving the awkward growing phase. He also believes Snyman has a good level of mental maturity.

“I know that sounds funny at 12,” he said, adding that she takes sports seriously and plays soccer at a high level. “She’s got a real tenacity to her. She’s at the point now, where she’s getting about as far as she can on what I would call natural talent.”

Buttenham added that Snyman has a get-up-and-go attitude.

“It doesn’t matter how hard I see this kid fall,” he continued. “She gets up and brushes the snow off and gives it four seconds to think about what she’s done and away she goes. It’s going to take her a long way in life.”

Buttenham said that McEachern is in the same boat as Snyman when it comes to the natural talent.  When it comes to landing the double axel, which Buttenham said is the make or break jump, McEachern is going to have to take some serious spills.

Buttenham said what McEachern has done to improve her jumps in six months is “pretty remarkable.”

“I’ve really improved a lot. I don’t know what I’ve been doing, but it’s working,” she said with a laugh.

Snyman is pretty happy with her season.

“The first competition I didn’t do as well as I wanted to,” she said. “In the second one, I beat my score by a lot.”

The next competition for Snyman, McEachern and the rest of the Glengarry Figure Skating club members is the regionals on Feb. 14 at Memorial Arena. The coaches will then be busy preparing the skaters for the Super Series in Kelowna March 7-9. The club then hosts its ice show on March 13.