Roxanne Rheault leads junior ladies

Roxanne Rheault is currently first after the Junior Ladies Short Program at the 2011 BMO Junior Canadian Figure Skating Championships.

As in the novice division, ladies from Qu├ębec are at the top of the standings after the junior short program. Two pre-event favorites skated well and have the top two spots heading into Wednesday night’s free skate.

Roxanne Rheault has a respectable lead and set herself up well for Wednesday. Rheault’s smooth skating set to M├ęditation from Thais earned her 45.53 points on Monday night. Her triple toe loop-double toe loop combination was clean, but it was her next element, the double Axel, that really soared.

With two level four spins and a level three step sequence, the rest of Rheault’s elements helped her stay ahead of the pack, along with components scores that were, on average, about a point higher than the rest of the field.

Julianna Sagaria edged out Rheault for the title at the Challenge last month to qualify for these championships, and is currently ranked second with 41.79 points. She fell on her opening jump, a triple loop, but fought back. Her Malaguena program built up after the mishap and she carried the feisty character through to the end. Her level three straightline steps were well-done and suited the music, and she ended with a fantastic level four layback spin that earned +3 Grade of Execution (GOE) from three judges.

Alexandre Gagnon’s lyrical program to Brian’s Song put her in third place with 40.19 points. While the landing on a triple flip combination was a bit messy, she still received credit for the triple, which was the hardest jump attempted in the event. The rest of her elements were done well and like the girls who placed ahead of her, Gagnon is also a good spinner.

Despite falls on both her triple loop and double Axel, Kitty Qian (BC/YT) is sitting in fourth place with 39.78 points. The rest of her elements, however, earned positive GOEs, and her spins were all level fours. Qian, who was born in China, certainly has the technical content to move into the medals if she skates well in the free program.

Kaetlyn Osmond (AB/NT/NU) was assigned to two Junior Grand Prix events this season and was one of the pre-event favorites. Her genuine skating style is easy to like and her program to A Day in the Life looked great on her. She doubled her planned triple loop, however, the rest of her elements were done well. If she hits her technical content in the free, she has a great shot of standing on the podium.

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