By Woodard, Dale on March 10, 2020.
Mackenzie Hurn came into the 26th annual South Region STARSkate Invitational with more than just a new routine.
She also came in with a nickname bestowed on her by a world-class figure skater.
Hurn was one of over 500 skaters from Alberta and B.C. who took the ice and showcased their skills at last weekend’s STARSkate Invitational – hosted by the Lethbridge Skating Club – running Friday.
As the 15-year-old figure skater with the Lethbridge Skating Club showcased her Swan Lake routine, she did so with her new nickname given to her by Olympian and four-time world and Canadian champion Kurt Browning, complete with an autograph and message on the very skates she performed with Sunday afternoon.
“He came for a seminar last month and he made fun of me the whole time and called me Crazy Kenzie,” said Hurn. “So before he left I asked him if he could sign something and he said “Sure, go get your skates.’ I was really confused. So he signed my skate and put a little message on it.”
So what prompted Browning to call Hurn Crazy Kenzie?
“I told him I could beat him in a competition,” said Hurn with a grin.
Last weekend, Hurn brought out her new Swan Lake routine for one more showcase before she heads to Edmonton for provincials March 20-22.
“We changed my program two months ago. I’ve only competed it once. We decided we wanted to go with something older and more ballet,” said Hurn, who has been skating with the Lethbridge Skating Club for four years and skated in Vulcan prior to that. “So we decided on Swan Lake. It’s a lot of work. It’s also hard to learn a new program and make sure all of your transitions are right and your jumps are landed.”
Last weekend’s invitational competition – which also included members of the Southern Alberta Skating Academy – was for the section of Alberta, North West territories in Nunavut.
“This is the one that occurs in the south end of the province and leading up in two weeks there will be the STARSkate finals in Edmonton,” said Deirdre Coburn, technical rep for the South Region STARSkate Invitational. “The skaters are earning points and they will be ranked provincially. For the top athletes, we have the Leading Edge, so they’re ranked and have points gathered throughout the year in our award at the end of the year.”
The STARSkate in Edmonton is an invitational event.
So for those skaters deciding to go, South Region STARSkate Invitational was a tuneup of sorts.
“It’s experience and feedback,” said Coburn. “So if they’re going to the provincial (event) they are the best prepared they can be.”
Before heading to Edmonton, Hurn was able to put in a hometown performance.
“It’s really nice because you have so many people sitting here watching you and making you feel happy,” said the former hockey player. “You’ve been training for this for so long.”
And Hurn has put in the time.
“Everyone thinks it’s so easy to do and it’s a lot of work and a lot of talent and a lot of muscle to be able to do it, just being out there and performing.”
The event in Edmonton in two weeks will be Hurn’s second appearance.
“I went last year and it didn’t do very well,” she said. “I hope to (place in) the top half, that’s what I’m aiming for.”
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