Local skaters shine at Autumn Leaves meet

In the last year, Ally Norum has made the biggest jump in her figure skating career.

The 11-year-old from Prince George who skates out of the Northern B.C. Centre for Skating is currently ranked 10th in the province in pre-juvenile ladies.

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The ranking is an accumulation based on her five best scores from October 2014 to October 2015.

"Her scores have continually improved throughout the season," said Andrea Ludditt, NBCCS director of competitive development. "It's based on her technique, quality of skating and her speed. It's largely due to putting in the time and that she just loves skating."

Norum won the bronze medal at the Autumn Leaves meet two weeks ago in Chilliwack.

It was the first medal in her career, thanks to a program that included a pair of double-toe jumps and two double Salchows.

"It wasn't that long ago that we had no one competing in pre-juvenile ladies, let alone ranked in the top-10 in the province," said director of skating Rory Allen. "It's a very competitive level. There are a lot of skaters in the province."

Norum's medal was one of five that athletes from the NBCCS claimed at the Autumn Leaves meet, the most the club has won in the history of competing at the event. The cache also included a gold medal by Olivia Trampuh in junior silver ladies, three silver medals and a bronze.

"It's a huge step forward," said Allen of winning that many medals. "It's a Super Series event and one of the larger events in the province. Kids from all parts of B.C. attended and we were the only ones from northern B.C."

Trampuh, 14, scored a personal-best score of 27.77 points, landing two double-double jump combinations in the process.

The NBCCS is now focused on the B.C./Yukon sectionals from Nov. 5-8 in Coquitlam and will send seven skaters to the meet. It's a qualifying meet for the junior national championships, now known as the Skate Canada Challenge, from Dec. 2-6 in Edmonton. The top four skaters from every division will qualify for the national-level meet.

Among the contingent at sectionals will be Trampuh, who will compete in the pre-novice stream and is working on laying down three double-double jump combinations.

"She'll have two programs that are way more difficult (than Autumn Leaves)," said Ludditt. "She'll have a step sequence and spins and will have three jumps in the short program and six jumps in the long program. She's really working hard and is focused."

Norum, too, will compete at sectionals and is currently fine-tuning her double-double combinations and aiming for a top-10 finish.

Justin Hampole will also be competing in the novice men's division at sectionals. Both Ludditt and Allen are hoping for a good, solid performance by the 13-year-old who claimed the bronze medal at the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George in February.

"Justin didn't have a great performance at Autumn Leaves - he was seventh overall - so we have come back with a lot of changes to his long program, streamlined it, made it cleaner and more simple. He's come back with a different focus since Autumn Leaves, which is good for him. He has the talent (to do well). It's a tough field."

His programs include a triple Salchow and two double Axels in the short and a pair of triple Salchows in the long.

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