Local figure skater Beverly Smetaniuk won two medals at the 2019 Kla-How-Ya Competition that took place in Smithers over the weekend (Nov. 29-Dec. 1).
The Kla-How-Ya (which means ‘welcome’) competition is an annual event that attracts around 100 figure skaters from across the region.
Smetaniuk was the only athlete from Quesnel to enter the competition this year, but she did not disappoint. Smetaniuk placed 2nd in the Star 6 Ladies category and took a personal best 3rd in the Gold Artistic category.
Her success is the result of her hard work and determination over the years, says Smetaniuk’s coach Carly Dinicol.
“She has been with the club since she was three or four and competing when she was around seven. She did really well from a young age and moved up really fast. She has always been a really strong skater,” said Dinicol.
Smetaniuk’s next big test will be at the 2020 CNCR Regional Championships held in Prince George Jan. 16-18.
The Regional Championships host athletes from all over the North Cariboo region and will make for stiff competition. To prepare for the competition, Smetaniuk will be polishing up routines she has already developed, including her artistic routine which won her a bronze medal in Smithers.
Artistic routines are judged primarily on how the figure skater interprets and tells the story of the accompanying music. Dinicol believes that Smetaniuk’s artistic routine, which the young skater choreographed all on her own to Michael Buble’s song “Sway”, will be among the top performances at regionals.
The young skater has not just been focusing on her own development; she has also decided to give back to her skating community. Smetaniuk has taken on a role as coach at the Quesnel Figure Skating Club, helping younger skaters develop their skills. Dinicol says she is proud not only of how Smetaniuk has grown as an athlete but as a person.
“She really evolved over the last year and has grown up and matured so much. It is amazing to see how she is with the kids; they love her to bits and pieces. Her whole heart is in the figure skating community and she is a joy to have. I can’t believe what a well-rounded women she has become,” commented Dinicol.