The Skate Canada Challenge was a personal test Adele Romanin passed with flying colours.
“My goal going in was just to see how my nerves were and try to do the best I could,” said the 43rd overall pre-novice female. “I just wanted to have the best performance I could have and really just free myself and really skate to the music and perform to the people and judges.”
Romanin, 15, placed 39th in the short program and 41st in the freeskate/long program for 77.26 total points.
“I was pretty happy with both but I was most proud of my short program,” said the St. Albert Skating Centre performer. “I was pretty nervous but I still kept it together and performed really well in both. My jumps were really good and I had all spins which I really wanted.”
However, Romanin rued the fact her double axel wasn’t up to snuff.
“I’ve been working on it. I had a bit of trouble going into Challenge and it wasn’t as consistent as I wanted it to be. I landed it in my short which I was really, really happy about but in my long I just let it slip right at the end,” said Grade 10 Lillian Osborne High School student.
Romanin was up against 60 skaters at the recent U16 nationals in Pierrefonds, Quebec.
“There was a lot of really good competitors but I was still really excited and ready to compete,” she said. “Competing there was amazing overall.”
Out of the top nine finishers there were four were from Quebec, four from Ontario and the winner, Melody Zhu with 109.32 points, was from the B.C./Yukon Sectionals.
“Pre-novice is really the competitive funnel where everything starts,” said coach Ben Ferreira. “A lot of those girls could’ve made it into senior ladies they were so good. The standard is so high so it was very good for Adele to go and see that.”
Romanin qualified for the Skate Canada Challenge with 85.71 points as the fourth highest-ranked female out of 49 participants at the Alberta/NWT/Nunavut Sectionals in Lethbridge.
“It was a very huge accomplishment,” Ferreira said. “She did a great job at our provincial championship. She really showed she is one of the girls that was very well packaged and very well trained to be able to go and deliver a personal best performance.”
Romanin was fifth in the short program with 31.22 points and fourth in the freeskate with 54.49 points.
Alexandra Sarmiento Diaz of the Extreme Edge Skating Club was the first-place female at sectionals with 95.41 points.
“I was really excited. I didn’t think I was actually going to qualify but the hard work and effort I put in really made it better,” said Romamin, the 25th finisher among 48 pre-novice females at the previous sectionals with 69.22 points.
Ferreira described Romanin’s strength as consistency.
“I love how she trains. She shows up daily and there is no ifs, ands or buts. There is no complaining. We do the short, we do the long and if there’s mistakes we go do parts afterwards,” Ferreira said.
“She is just very consistent and very reliable. Every day she does her check ist,” he added. “She is phenomenal at that and very easy to train.
“She is an absolute marine. That’s who she is.”
Romanin will now spend the next two years in the U17 novice division.
“She can really grow her technical score and really grow as a skater,” Ferreira said.” She’s getting close to a triple jump now too so that’s what’s kind of exciting about it for her.”
Romanin is ready for the challenge.
“It’s not as big as the jump from juvenile to pre-novice but it’s still a big jump because you can get bigger levels (of difficulty) and the girls have higher jumps than we did in pre-novice,” she said. “I really want to get all the jumps and levels of spins. I want to get my triples, which a lot of the girls at Skate Canada had, and I want to be able to skate faster, which a lot of them had there, and just improve my performance overall.”
Romanin will make her novice debut in early March in Calgary, followed by another competition at the end of April in Edmonton before gearing up for sections towards the end of the year.
“We’re working on a lot more skill acquisition,” Ferreira said. “From my end it’s all technical and the more points we can get on the board, the triple jumps, the levels of spins, all of that.”
Romanin hones her craft six days a week on the ice and countless hours away from the rink.
“it doesn’t feel like a lot of training or a lot of effort because I love the sport so much,” said the former Vancouver resident before moving west with her family a few years ago. “I really like the environment and every day I learn something new. I like the feeling of jumping, spinning and skating. It just freezes yourself.”
The easiest part is performing.
“I guess it’s more comforting at a competition. It doesn’t let my nerves come out,” Romanin said. “The anticipation until getting onto the ice is the biggest for me. It feels like butterflies and it’s just like you feel your heart racing and then your music starts and you just kind of forget everything that’s happening.”