September 27th, 2016

Harper turns in big performance at Chinook Open


By Lethbridge Herald on March 30, 2015.

Dale Woodard
Lethbridge Herald
sports@lethbridgeherald.com
Darcie Harper had a hunch she was going to put in a good performance.
As the 16-year-old figure skater hit the ice at the Chinook Open Saturday afternoon at the Civic Centre, that’s exactly what happened.
“Yesterday I ended up first overall in my event,” said Harper, a student at Catholic Central High School. “I had a fairly clean skate and landed my double salchow and double toe. I tried a couple of bigger jumps. I felt ready and loose.”
It was 10 years ago that Harper made a decision on which sport she would pursue.
Turns out, the blades won.
“I used to dance and skate at the time and then kind of fell for skating a lot more,” said Harper. “It’s the adrenaline rush you get when you step out on the ice and competing and being able to be out there by yourself. You’re out there by yourself and you don’t have anyone else to fall back on. It’s not a team thing.”
Harper’s coach, Darren Gillett, said his student of three years is a strong skater.
“She’s a great jumper and a fast spinner. She’s had a fairly good season this year and it’s nice to wrap it up with the Chinook Open.”
Gillett said Harper has come a long way in the three years he’s coached her.
“When I first started working with Darcie I think we had a little bit of a control problem. But we took care of that probably in the first six or seven months that we were working together and it’s been gradually getting better and better as the time has gone on.”
The Chinook Open — which also ran at Nicholas Sheran Arena — wrapped up Sunday and the competitive season is winding down, but there’s another event on Harper’s schedule as she heads to Edmonton for an event April 10-12.
“Hopefully that will be a clean program,” said Harper.
Gillett and Harper have already set a goal for the skate in Edmonton.
“We’ve set a goal of 30-plus points for one program, so we’re striving to get that clean program where she can actually break 30 points for that one skate,” said Gillett. “It’s definitely do-able, there’s no doubt. If she was to pull off a clean program with everything that’s in the program, 30 is very easily achievable for her.”

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