Rob's Blog: "Generation Next"

Susan D. Russell
Alaine Chartrand

"Generation Next" took the senior women’s competition by storm Saturday night.

While Newfoundland native Kaetlyn Osmond did the expected — widening a 12.18-point lead after the short program to nearly 38 and winning her first Canadian title with a spectacular free skate — she felt like somewhat aged when she saw who landed on the podium beside her.

In the silver medal position: 15-year-old Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont. Taking the bronze: 16-year-old Alaine Chartrand of Brockville, Ont. The two of them squealed and giggled like the teenage schoolgirls that they are when it was all over.

Both arrived at the Hershey Centre with the same two goals and it was mission accomplished across the board.

“Little goal, to make national team (top five),” said Chartrand, who represents the Nepean Skating Club in Ottawa. “My big goal was top three.”

Daleman, last year’s Canadian junior ladies champion, rhymed off the same ambitions. “Same goals, same mind,” she said while looking at her rival and friend. “When I came into this competition, I said ‘this bronze is mine. I want it and I’m going to for it.’ My goal was top three and making the national team, and getting the silver was a bonus.

“It just made me so happy (winning this) in my first year in senior. It was a great late birthday present." (Daleman turned 15 last week).

Chartrand’s bronze took a little bit of math. Originally, she was ranked fourth behind defending champion Amelie Lacoste by a fraction of a point. But upon reviewing the protocols, Chartrand's coach, Michelle Leigh, discovered that instead of Chartrand being given credit for a jump combination in her long program, it had been scored as a jump sequence (an approximate 20% differential in base points). Leigh filed a protest; a data entry error was noted; Chartrand was awarded the points and subsequently elevated to third place on the podium.

“I still can’t believe that it’s there,” Chartrand said, looking down at her bronze medal in the mixed zone.

Then there was Osmond, whose coronation extended what had already been a dream season. She scored a stunning victory at Skate Canada International in the fall in her senior Grand Prix debut, and now this.

Oh, yeah, there’s still a World championship to come in March in London, Ont. Yes, it’s mighty good to be Kaetlyn these days.

“I just thought about (Worlds), actually,” she said. “I’m extremely excited to make the team, especially with it being in London. It’s extraordinary and I’m so excited.”

And sharing the podium with a couple of good friends even if they make the 17-year-old Osmond feel a little elderly by comparison?

“We’re really good friends, the three of us, and we were all excited to make the podium together,” she said. “It felt weird being the oldest on the podium for once. I’ve always been one of the youngest, if not the youngest ... I’m 17 and I’m old!”