Kristen Ciurka finished her first competitive figure skating season with a top-10 ranking. 

Kristen Ciurka finished her first competitive figure skating season with a top-10 ranking. 

Ciurka cracks top 10

Vernon 11-year-old Kristen Ciurka finished her first competitive figure skating season with a top-10 ranking.

Vernon 11-year-old Kristen Ciurka finished her first competitive figure skating season with a top-10 ranking.

The Silver Star Elementary student, who skates with the Kelowna Centre of Excellence Skating Club, competed in the 2012 BC/Yukon Skate Canada Sectional Championships recently in Kelowna.

Ciurka exceeded her goal of a top-20 finish in her first sectional championships with an 11th-place skate in Pre-Juvenile ladies. She also earned a spot on Team B.C. to attend the SaskSkate Invitational Competition last month in Saskatoon.

The Saskatchewan competition was made up of top skaters invited from Western Canada and was Ciurka’s first experience representing B.C. outside the province.

She had a good skate, including five double jumps to finish eighth. Under the new Skate Canada Pond to Podium Super Series Competition ranking system, Ciurka finished the competitive season ranked No. 8 out of 63 skaters. She was the top Okanagan athlete for her age category.

The Super Series season runs from May to November, with competitions throughout the province. It finishes with sectional championships.

Competition scores are tallied throughout the season in order to determine the Super Series ranking. The Pond to Podium Super Series was started by Skate Canada in an effort to encourage and develop figure skaters to eventually find success representing their province and country.

There are still fun competitions in the Okanagan Valley to keep her busy throughout the year.

“I love skating and I feel very lucky to be able to train five days per week, year round in Kelowna,” said Ciruka.

She is coached by the team of Jason and Karen Mongrain, Madison Lyon and former Vernon resident and national competitor, Brittany Novakowski.

Her next competition will be in Penticton in February, followed by the Okanagan regional competition, in Armstrong, in early March.