Melanie Heaney will be on-site to photograph the event. Check out our Canadian Nationals Hub for links and information on the event.
The top Canadian ice dance teams from the novice, junior and senior levels will head to Mississauga, Ontario for this week’s Canadian National Championships. Mississauga last hosted the national championships in 2013, with Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir collecting their fifth national title. Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier captured silver, their second medal as a team.
Laurence Fournier Beaudry & Nikolaj Sorensen, the 2019 bronze medalists, will not compete in Mississauga. Sorensen underwent knee surgery in late November and is still recovering. However, the duo will be in Mississauga cheering everyone on.
In the senior event, Gilles & Poirier are poised to win their first national title. Since debuting in 2012, Gilles & Poirier have medaled at seven of the last eight Canadian Championships. This season, the team won their first Grand Prix event, Skate Canada International, setting personal best scores in all phases of the event, including a total score of 209.01. The team trains at Ice Dance Elite in Scarborough, Ontario with coaches Carol Lane, Juris Razgulajevs and Jon Lane.
The remainder of the podium should be an exciting battle.
Carolane Soucisse & Shane Firus started their season at the Lake Placid Ice Dance International, finishing fourth and won the bronze medal at the U.S. Classic. The team finished fifth at last year’s championships. Soucisse & Firus train at Ice Academy of Montreal with Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon, Romain Haguenauer and Pascal Denis.
Three-time junior champions and 2019 World Junior Champions, Marjorie Lajoie & Zachary Lagha, are in their first season as a senior team. Lajoie & Lagha finished sixth and seventh at their Grand Prix events and could land on the senior podium in their first attempt. Lajoie & Lagha train at Ice Academy of Montreal.
Haley Sales & Nikolas Wamsteeker, fourth at the 2019 Canadian Championships, won Skate Canada Challenge in November. Sales & Wamsteeker train at Vancouver Ice Dance Academy with coaches Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe.
Molly Lanaghan & Dmitre Razgulajevs were sixth in 2019, and finished fourth at the U.S. Classic. They won the bronze medal at Skate Canada Challenge. Lanaghan & Razgulajevs train at Ice Dance Elite.
Like Lajoie & Lagha, Alicia Fabbri & Paul Ayer are competing in their first senior season. Fabbri & Ayer finished sixth in their senior international debut at Warsaw Cup and won the silver medal at Skate Canada Challenge. They train at Ice Academy of Montreal.
The roster also includes three new teams: Elysia-Marie Campbell & Liam Fawcett, Rybie Diemer & Petr Paleev and Estelle LeBlanc & Alex Leger.
Senior events take place on Friday, January 20 and Saturday, January 21.
At the junior level, the competition will go on without two of the top junior teams. Natalie D’Alessandro & Bruce Waddell and Miku Makita & Tyler Gunara are in Lausanne, Switzerland, for the 2020 Youth Olympics. Also, Irina Galiyanova & Grayson Lochhead have withdrawn due to injury.
In the medal hunt:
- Nadiia Bashynska & Peter Beaumont won the 2019 Lake Placid Ice Dance International and finished third and fourth at their Junior Grand Prix events. In November, they finished second at Skate Canada Challenge. Bashynska & Beaumont train at Ice Dance Elite.
- Emmy Bronsard & Aissa Bouaraguia finished second at Lake Placid Ice Dance International. They were fourth and third at their JGP events and fourth at Skate Canada Challenge. Bronsard & Bouaraguia train at Ice Academy of Montreal.
- Jessica Li & Jacob Richmond finished ninth in their JGP debut and fifth at Skate Canada Challenge. They train in Quebec with Julien Lalonde & Mylene Girard.
- Olivia McIsaac & Corey Circelli finished sixth at Challenge. They train in Toronto with Andrew Hallam and Tracey Wilson.
Junior events take place on Monday, January 13 and Tuesday, January 14.
If the 2020 Skate Canada Challenge is any indication, the battle for the novice title and podium will be a close one. All of the teams competed at the North American Cup (NAC) in Lake Placid last July.
In the medal hunt:
- Sandrine Gauthier & Quentin Thieren finished fifth at the NAC and won Skate Canada Challenge by less than one point (100.43). They train in Quebec with Julien Lalonde & Mylene Girard.
- Erica Estepa & Nolen Hickey finished a close second at Skate Canada Challenge (99.92) and were ninth at NAC. They train in Brampton, Ontario with coaches Matthew Doleman and Pamela Krolick.
- Mia Saunders & William Oddson won the bronze medal (99.04) at Challenge and train with Kim Weeks, Tyler Myles and Ben Westenberger in Alberta.
- Hailey Yu & Brendan Giang won the NAC and finished fourth at Challenge (98.56). They train at Vancouver Ice Dance Academy.
- Emma Goodstadt & Michael Barsoum won the silver medal at the North American Challenge. They finished fifth at Challenge after a fall in the Starlight Waltz took them out of medal position. They train at Ice Dance Elite.
Novice events will be contested on Monday, January 13 and Tuesday, January 14.