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Double lutz lands freestyler gold medal

By Joe Fries

Author: BC Winter Games/Sunday, February 28, 2016/Categories: 2016 BC Winter Games, Figure Skating

Double lutz lands freestyler gold medal

She may not have had her sights set on gold, but 10-year-old figure skater Vienna Harwood managed the feat anyway in the juvenile women’s freestyle competition Saturday at the Penticton 2016 BC Winter Games.

“I just came in to have fun. I didn’t really care about the scores. I just came for the experience,” the Kelowna girl said after securing the win for Zone 2 (Thompson-Okanagan)

She nailed a double lutz – the most difficult aspect of her Mary Poppins-themed program – to pick up 31.19 points.

Harwood hopes the provincial competition will be her launching pad to the Canada Winter Games.

Faith Benko, 11, skated to a second-place performance on behalf of Zone 4 (Fraser River) and may have won gold had she not stumbled on her signature double flip-double loop combination.

“I would have like to land my last jump, except it wasn’t my day to land it today,” said the Surrey girl, who scored 30.5 points.

Still, it didn’t put a damper on her time at the Games.

“I’d love to do it again. It was a lot of fun,” she said.

Zone 2 also picked up a bronze medal in the event on the strength of Tianna Potts’s 29.59-point performance.

She skated nearly flawlessly, but couldn’t nail her double lutz-double loop.

“I got a little slip at the end. I didn’t fall, but I had a weird landing,” said the West Kelowna girl.

After two years performing the same program, she’s set to retire it before moving on to the pre-novice level.

“It was my last skate to it, and I liked it,” said Potts.

In the juvenile men’s event, Shohei Law (Zone 5) won gold, while Wesley Chiu (Zone 5) took silver and Christopher Horwood (6) claimed bronze.

Ashley Sales (Zone 2) placed first among pre-novice women, and Olivia Bau (Zone 6) `and Daria Carr were second and third, respectively.

On the Special Olympics women’s side, Jennifer Utendale (Zone 4) topped the podium while Desiree Grubell (Zone 6) took silver and Tracy La Berge (Zone 4) was bronzed in the Level 2 event.

Emily Walzak (Zone 6) won gold, while Kimberly Giesbrecht (Zone 6) earned silver and Krista Milne (Zone 4) collected bronze in Level 2.

All podium ceremonies for figure skating are set for Sunday morning.

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