The Brock Badgers figure skating team’s fearsome trip of Alexa Leitch, Katie Desveaux, and Emily Albrecht had a fantastic week at the OUA Championships in London, Ontario, hosted by the Western Mustangs. Brock finished in third place with a total of 48 points, edging out McMaster who finished with 45 points and Guelph with 42 points. The Toronto Varsity Blues were crowned champions with 88 points after finishing just ahead of the hometown Mustangs with 84 points, securing their third straight provincial championship.
Individually, Brock saw lots of success throughout the two-day tournament. Individually, in the Women’s Open Solo Dance, Desveaux won a silver medal, and in the Women’s Starskate 10, Leitch also collected silver. In pairs, Leitch and Desveaux teamed up for another silver in the Women’s Intermediate Similar Pairs while the OUA All-Star team of Desveaux and Albrecht won gold in the Women’s Open Short Dance.
“I’m extremely proud of the way this team fought for that podium finish,” said head coach Katie Dortono. “The girls really dug deep and skated with such heart and determination. Ultimately, that’s what earned us the overall bronze medal. It was a true team effort, and it was so rewarding to see the pure joy on all of their faces when they announced that the bronze was ours.”
However, the result may be a bit bitter-sweet, as 2017 Brock Female Athlete of the Year Desveaux might have skated competitively for the final time in her career. “This was my last OUA’s as I am graduating this year and I couldn’t have been happier,” said Desveaux. “My skating partners are amazing and supported me throughout the season and we had our best skates last week which was the best feeling knowing that we did everything we could and achieved results we have been training for all season.”
Dortono knows just how valuable Desveaux is to this team and program. “The impact that Katie has had on our team throughout her four years at Brock is hard to put into words,” said Dortono. “She leads by extraordinary example for her teammates, consistently demonstrating the level of effort required to be successful in our sport, but also how to be a great teammate. I can say without a doubt that she has elevated the level of varsity figure skating not only at Brock, but within the OUA as well. She has the rare ability to succeed in both of the major disciplines of figure skating – dance and free skate – and this makes her a force to be reckoned with. I can’t say enough good things about her new partners this season either. Emily Albrecht and Alexa Leitch each joined forces with Katie this season in their respective pairs events; both partnerships were absolutely outstanding and achieved medals at the OUA Championships.”
However, even with the experience leaving the team, Desveaux is confident in the core of Brock skating to continue on the success she has helped build. “Our team has tons of potential to grow not just over the next year, but for many years to come,” said Desveaux. “Everyone on the team is talented and brings so many great and different skills where we are able to use that to push and support each other to improve at practice to be our best at competition. We all help each other find motivation at 6:00 a.m., cheer each other on at competitions and practice, it’s like one big family. We also have amazing coaches who help and support us over the entire season because they see the potential in each and every one of us.”
There might still be some doubters out there; everyone knows Brock can’t rest on their laurels after finishing 40 points back of the dominant Mustangs and Blues. However, Dortono has confidence in this team. “These results are no accident.”