Langton skater nails it in Sudbury
Roxanne Dekeyser, left, of Langton, came away from Sudbury in March with a surprise second-place finish at the Skate Ontario provincial championships. Proud coach is Michele Jarvis of the Norwich & District Figure Skating Club and the Tricenturena Skating Club in Waterford. (MONTE SONNENBERG Simcoe Reformer)
One of the best figure-skating stories in the local area this season nearly flew under the radar in March.
Roxanne Dekeyser, 14, of Langton, competed March 18-20 at the Skate Ontario Championships in Sudbury.
Dekeyser was skating in the junior silver division. Expectations weren’t high because Dekeyser was the fourth and final qualifier for western Ontario following the regional competition in February.
But timing is everything, and Dekeyser picked a good time to peak in Sudbury. As it happened, she placed second in a tough field of 18, earning the all-Ontario silver medal in her division.
Dekeyser very well could have won all the marbles. She was only half a point out of first and a full two points ahead of third. A single better jump on her part or a wobble on the part of the winner could’ve earned her the gold.
“I was just skating better that weekend,” Dekeyser – a Grade 9 student at Holy Trinity High School in Simcoe -- said Saturday. “My double lutzes and double flips were really good that day. So were my double-double combinations.”
The crew in back of Dekeyser had some nail-biting moments. Mother and “biggest fan” Sandy Dekeyser recognized early on that her daughter’s three-minute routine was going extremely well. Her hope for what felt like an eternity was that Roxanne would see it through to the end.
“She had a little wobble on a double loop,” Dekeyser said. “Otherwise she would’ve had first place. It was that close.”
Coach Michele Jarvis was on pins and needles because every ice surface is different. When you are skating in a new arena, you are never sure if the choreography will fit the confines of the ice surface. During her silver-medal performance, Dekeyser came perilously close to hitting the boards.
“You hold your breath and hope the routine fits,” Jarvis said. “After the second jump and spin, we were all right. We could breathe again. She was closer to the boards than I thought she would be.”
Roxanne has been working on her figure skating since she was three years old. She spends six hours on the ice a week throughout the year. She is a member of the Norwich & District Figure Skating Club and the Waterford Tricenturena Skating Club.
Roxanne has achieved her Skate Canada gold certification in dance, skills and interpretive skating. The only certification she is missing at this level is her gold free skate.
Roxanne will move up to the silver senior level this fall. At this level, the free-skate routines become more challenging and complex.
Roxanne also plays volleyball and basketball. She plans to continue competing as a figure skater so long as she keeps improving. She has her sights set on coaching.
Dekeyser is a member of the figure skating team at Holy Trinity. She recently learned that she is the recipient of Skate Canada’s STARskate Athlete Award in western Ontario for 2016.