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Panko-Dool, Sabo spark Nelson to Rossland Mini title


Shaen Panko-Dool and Morgan Sabo topped the medal count to lead Nelson to the overall title at the Rossland Mini Figure Skating Competition Saturday in the Golden City.

The Rossland Mini event is the first competition of the New Year for the Nelson skaters.

"Our skaters did very well," said a smiling Nelson Figure Skating head coach Rachel Stewart. “They displayed confidence on the ice, which is a reflection of the hard work and preparation they have invested.”

Panko-Dool and Sabo led the club with two gold medals and a silver each. The two skaters, along with fellow club members Charly Defouw and Soleil Babcock, dominated Preliminary Dance winning gold and silver respectively, all the more impressive for being their first year competing in that category.

Other gold medals were awarded to Christina Champlin in Junior Bronze Skills, Sophie Borhi for Preliminary Freeskate (10 and under), and Erica Tolles in Junior Bronze Freeskate (13 and over).

Nelson captured the Rossland Mini title for the second time in 30 years.

“You know you have performed well as a club when you take home the Team Trophy,"  Stewart said.

“It’s an achievement all the girls can share in and something the club can show off for a year,” adds Christine Defouw, Nelson's competition chair.

With Rossland in the rear view, the club is looking ahead to the Regional Qualifying Competition in Beaver Valley on January 22-23. Performances at the Regional event will determine the top four skaters in each category to represent this region at the Pacific StarSkate Championships in Cranbrook from March 4-6.

Defouw is excited that the season’s culminating event is being hosted so close to home.

“It’s a big opportunity. The fact it’s taking place in the Kootenays makes it much more affordable for skaters from our region to attend.”

Simpler logistics means coaches and parents can focus on honing routines, deepening confidence and reminding the skaters to enjoy the experience.

With the competition season drawing to a close in March the club is starting to focus on its end of season Ice Gala to be held in Nelson in late February.