A Lacombe figure skater impressed at the 2019 STARSkate and Adult Championships in Airdrie this past weekend.
The Lacombe Figure Skating Club’s Mariika Meadus had a second place finish out of 54 skaters in the STAR 6 long program, earning a score of 24.41 – just a fraction behind St. Albert’s first-placed Sadie Henderson who earned a 24.9.
The score also moved her into first place in the Leading Edge Series program, which ranks skaters based on their top three skates of the year.
“It felt pretty good. I did mess up one thing and it wasn’t the cleanest program, but it was still pretty high,” Meadus said. “I’ve been doing (the program) for a little while now and it’s starting to feel a lot more comfortable and I’m more confident with it.”
The program itself features five different jumps, two spins and a spiral sequence – and a genuine smile that never fades from Meadus’ face, conveying just how much fun she has skating the program, which is inspired by The Jungle Book.
Lacombe Figure Skating Club Coach Sue Reykdal said she’d been listening to Piano Guys on YouTube when their take on “Sarabande” started to play.
“I saw Mariika in my head and thought it would work really well for her,” said Reykdal. “It’s a beautiful piece – it’s got some slow and fast and Jungle Book flavour. It really fits her personality beautifully, and you can tell.”
Reykdal worked on the music, while Meadus, who began skating six years ago and is now transitioning to skating in Red Deer with a higher caliber of skaters, worked on choreography with the Red Deer Figure Skating Club’s Jessica Sergeant.
Both Reykdal and Meadus say skating in both places has worked well, as she can take the feedback and skills learned in Red Deer, and put them into practice using the quieter ice surface in Lacombe.
It’s also helped her pass numerous Skate Canada Tests this year, including Junior Silver Freeskate, Senior Silver Freeskate, the blues, quickstep, as well as both junior and senior-level skill tests.
“It’s remarkable to pass that many tests in one year – most skaters are lucky if they get one,” said Reykdal. “She trains very well and hard – she’s a super role model for kids coming up. She’s a good mentor, and she’s got a good personality.”
Meadus also skated a STAR 7 long program, with which she placed 15th out of 51 skaters.
She is expected to skate the program once more, although perhaps with a few changes, during the 2019 United Sport Sunsational Competition in Edmonton April 19-21.
In the future, she’d like to go beyond STARSkate, which only goes as far as the provincial level of competition.
“It would be really nice to make it to a national level, or even just a bit bigger than a provincial level.”