Adrianna Phillips moved away from home to chase her figure skating dreams.
She came home this weekend to try to realize one of them.
The 15-year-old Moose Jaw figure skater finished fifth in the Pre-Novice category in the Skate Canada Saskatchewan Sectionals at the Pla-Mor Palace this weekend. That qualified her as an alternate for the provincial team at the Skate Canada Challenge in Regina from Dec. 5-9.
The fifth place finish put her teasingly close to earning one of the four full spots on provincial team to test herself against the best skaters in the country in her category.
“There were 28 girls in her event, so coming in fifth was a nice accomplishment for her. It’s great,” said David Schultz who, along with his wife Vicki, coaches Phillips in Medicine Hat.
“It’s a bittersweet situation where you’re an alternate for the goal of the season — we wanted to get to the Challenge.”
Phillips skates with the local Prairie Edge School of Skating, but moved to Medicine Hat at the end of the summer to train full time.
Phillips first skated with Schultz in the summer of 2011. She went back to Medicine Hat for seven weeks this past summer and decided to stay. She lives with the Schultzes and their two kids.
“We’ve made a big commitment to her and she’s made a big commitment to us,” said Schultz. “Adrianna impresses me every day. She’s a disciplined kid. The maturity that she has shown at such a relatively young age, she definitely impresses me.”
Phillips has seen her skating improve since moving west. She said her jumps are more consistent and her skating component scores have improved.
“It’s been good, but it gets hard,” said Phillips of being away from home.
Friday, Phillips put together her best short program of the season, but didn’t skate the long program as well as she would have liked.
“I felt that my short program was quite good, but my long has been better recently,” said Phillips.
If one of the other four provincial team members is injured or sick, Phillips could see herself skating at the Challenge.
Even being in Regina and around the competition should be a good experience for her.
“I’ll get the feeling of it and hopefully it helps me prepare for next year,” said Phillips.