By Lethbridge Herald on March 30, 2015.
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, thatâ€™s exactly what happened.
â€œYesterday I ended up first overall in my event,â€ said Harper, a student at Catholic Central High School. â€œI 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.â€
It was 10 years ago that Harper made a decision on which sport she would pursue.
Turns out, the blades won.
â€œI used to dance and skate at the time and then kind of fell for skating a lot more,â€ said Harper. â€œItâ€™s the adrenaline rush you get when you step out on the ice and competing and being able to be out there by yourself. Youâ€™re out there by yourself and you donâ€™t have anyone else to fall back on. Itâ€™s not a team thing.â€
Harperâ€™s coach, Darren Gillett, said his student of three years is a strong skater.
â€œSheâ€™s a great jumper and a fast spinner. Sheâ€™s had a fairly good season this year and itâ€™s nice to wrap it up with the Chinook Open.â€
Gillett said Harper has come a long way in the three years heâ€™s coached her.
â€œWhen 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 itâ€™s been gradually getting better and better as the time has gone on.â€
The Chinook Open â€” which also ran at Nicholas Sheran Arena â€” wrapped up Sunday and the competitive season is winding down, but thereâ€™s another event on Harperâ€™s schedule as she heads to Edmonton for an event April 10-12.
â€œHopefully that will be a clean program,â€ said Harper.
Gillett and Harper have already set a goal for the skate in Edmonton.
â€œWeâ€™ve set a goal of 30-plus points for one program, so weâ€™re striving to get that clean program where she can actually break 30 points for that one skate,â€ said Gillett. â€œItâ€™s definitely do-able, thereâ€™s no doubt. If she was to pull off a clean program with everything thatâ€™s in the program, 30 is very easily achievable for her.â€