Virden-based pairs team Shallen Bear and Marty Haubrich turned heads on a national stage with their short program.
At the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships, which ran Jan. 13-19 in Mississauga, the duo posted a personal best short program score of 46.12 points. The performance, which ranked eighth in the junior field, was “amazing,” coach Patty Hole of Virden said.
“That is pretty nice that you improve by 10 points in the short program, which is unheard of,” Hole said.
Bear, a Grade 12 Virden Collegiate Institute student, said she enjoyed competing the short program.
“To me, the short has always been my strong program, and when we were skating it, I just felt in the moment and knew what I needed to do. We came out with a new personal best in the short, which was very exciting,” the Whitewood product said.
In the free skate, Bear and Haubrich earned a score of 60.82. They placed 11th overall. Hole said nationals was a learning experience:“To know now, at this level, what do they need to do to compete.” It was only the team’s second year together. Hole said they have come a long way.
Last year the duo competed at nationals in the novice ranks. Haubrich, who is from Dubuc, said “It felt really good to skate at nationals again this year. Having one year under my belt helped my confidence a lot.”
Bear enjoyed the larger crowd at this year’s event compared to what they experienced in Saint John, New Brunswick.
“It kind of put the pressure on a little more, but I loved it.,” she said.
The pairs team greatly appreciates the opportunity to work with Hole, who coached Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
“Being coached by Patty has been really good,” Haubrich said. “She knows her stuff and if she is unsure of something, she will get the information for the next day.”