Mostert skates to nationals
St. Albert figure skate will compete in junior men's singles and junior pairs next month in Ottawa
By: Jeff Hansen
| Posted: Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013 06:00 am
Chris Mostert of St. Albert will skate a double shift at nationals next month in Ottawa.
Mostert, 18, will perform in junior men’s singles and in junior pairs with partner Taylor LeClaire of Tofield.
At the 2013 championships the Ice Palace Figure Skating Club duo were bronze medallists in novice pairs in their first season together and Mostert placed 10th overall in junior singles.
“Competing in four programs instead of two puts me at an automatic disadvantage compared to the other competitors because they will have more energy and more strength at the competition, but then I would be more trained because I’ve practiced more than them,” Mostert said.
LeClaire, a 16-year-old Grade 11 Vimy Ridge Academy student, is also in the same boat as Mostert and will skate in junior women’s singles after finishing fifth at the 2013 nationals in novice.
At the recent Skate Canada Challenge in Regina, where the top four skaters from each section across Canada competed for the top-18 qualifying spots at nationals, LeClaire placed 11th and Mostert was 12th in singles and they finished sixth out of seven in pairs.
Mostert improved on last year’s 16th-place showing in singles.
“My goal was top 10 but even though I didn't reach that goal I was still happy with my overall score. I skated pretty well and I got a personal best score for the season,” said the Paul Kane High School graduate. “My performance this year was definitely better. Last year I had just moved up into (U19) junior and it wasn't that great. I think I’m just more trained this year than last year.”
Mostert’s goal for nationals is top five.
“I’m training really hard to prepare myself,” said the Kings University College chemistry student. “My coach (Jessica Gosse) and I are planning on putting a few more harder jumps in for nationals.”
In junior pairs, Mostert and LeClaire are shooting for a medal in their first crack at the junior level.
“The people that we’re competing against have competed in junior and have competed in pairs for a long time, whereas Taylor and I haven't been competing as long. We’re pretty new to it,” said Mostert, noting the majority of the males are older than him and most of the females are younger than LeClaire.
The result in Regina wasn’t up to their high standards.
“It certainly wasn't our best skate,” Mostert said. “We had an OK short program. We had a few mistakes here and there but there were a lot of mistakes in the long program and a lot of big costly mistakes. We weren't too far behind the competitors so that's always comforting knowing that when we skate really bad we’re not too far behind them so now we’re just training really hard and trying not to mess up for nationals.”
They’ve had to literally raise their performance to new heights in junior.
“The difficulty level of what we’re doing now is much higher than what we were doing last year in novice,” Mostert said. “We had to make our lifts more difficult to get more points for them and all of our throws … last year they were doubles and this year they’re triples and they’re not perfect but we’re still really working hard on it.”
Training sessions for singles helps with their skill-set in pairs.
“A lot of pairs has singles elements in it so we work more in singles because that also helps the pairs. We only spend about – on ice – about seven or eight hours together in pairs, where in singles we spend about 10 to 12,” Mostert said.
The on-ice chemistry between the two grows stronger with each competition.
“It’s pretty good. We work really well together. We’ve never had any problems with each other,” said Mostert, a skater for 12 years who won bronze with Christina Penkov in pre-novice dance at the 2011 Canada Winter Games.