Lauren Barnett, 15, performs her short program in front of the judges at Skate Canada Central Ontario Sectionals in Barrie, Ont.

Barnett eyes sectionals as a skating stepping stone

Junior hopes to make it to divisionals with a good result in Barrie

BARRIE — For Lauren Barnett, the Central Ontario Skate Canada sectionals event is the climax of her figure-skating season.

And with a good result, it can also represent an opportunity for her to compete at divisionals in Regina, Saskatchewan later in the year.

That’s her goal, one that the 15-year-old’s been preparing for a long time.

“You get new programs usually in January or February,” said Barnett after completing her short program Friday night at the Holly Community Centre in Barrie, Ont.

“You work towards [sectionals] pretty well since then, but there’s small competitions that you set goals for. It all leads up to this.”

A skater since she was three and a competitive skater since the age of nine, the Junior competitor from the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club found herself gravitating to figure-skating because she liked how multi-dimensional it was for her.

“There are a lot of other components,” said Barnett. “You’re not just worrying about one thing always.

“If you’re not having a good day jumping for example, you can work on your spins and your steps because that’s still a big component of the mark.”

It has also given her a knowledge and experience to know what needs to be done to reach her intended objectives for the year.

“To get to Divisionals, I have to pretty well just skate how I’ve been skating in practice because I’ve been skating very well in practice,” said Barnett.

“I also need to remember the little things because the little things are what contribute to the points. The little things are what will give you the extra edge that will help you beat other people.”

But she’s also not about to take any unnecessary risks and press her luck.

“My long program I’m only doing one triple,” said Barnett. “We were planning on doing a triple for [the short program], but then we decided to play it really clean so that there’s less risk.

“If you were to do a … I was planning on doing a triple flip-double toe [jump], but if I were to fall on that, it would be worth almost nothing whereas I did a double loop-double loop and that’s worth a lot more.”

With a score of 33.18 in her short, it was a new personal best for Barnett by three points, a score that she is very proud of.

It also put her in sixth place going into her long program on Saturday.

“I’ve been having a lot of trouble with my competitions so it really represented me being able to overcome it as well as skate my programs in competition as I have been doing in practice,” said Barnett.