Skater jumps to new heights

Oak Bay's Alisa Lyesina won the provincial title in her category (pre-juvenile ladies 11 and under) at the Super Series in Kelowna

Alisa Lyesina takes the ice at the Super Series in Kelowna.

There is something unusual about 11-year-old Oak Bay figure skater Alisa Lyesina, and for anyone who has seen her on the ice, they’ve seen it first hand. Lyesina jumps high, really high.

“People are always astounded,” said Oak Bay Figure Skating Club director Jamie McGrigor from the figure skating World Championships in London, Ont. “She jumps unbelievably high for her size. One lady asked me how I get her to jump that high, I said, ‘I’m telling her to take it easy.’”

Recently, Lyesina put her jumping in addition to her great skating, flexibility and spins to use, winning the provincial title in her category (pre-juvenile ladies 11 and under) at the Super Series in Kelowna.

But Lyesina didn’t just win, she blew her competition out of the water, taking the title by 20 points.

“She was way ahead,” McGrigor said. “She went into the last skate and was 23 points ahead of second place, and to really nail down the win, she won the last skate as well.”

The provincial title is one of Lyesina’s first wins, but McGrigor thinks there are more ahead.

“I’m at the World Championships now and have seen kids her age with similar ability skating at this level now,” he said. “As a skater you always have a long way to go in this business and the stars have to line up like anything else. But she certainly has a lot of God-given ability.”

Following this season, which McGrigor calls Lyesina’s breakout year, she will be taking a break until April when a new season starts again.

In the new season, Lyesina won’t be continuing with the same category, instead she’ll be skipping two and competing with pre-novice.

Fellow Oak Bay Figure Skating Club teammates Kiara Jankowski and Marielle Timmins also performed well with Timmins taking home third in the junior silver ladies and Jankowski breaking her personal best, and finishing seventh.

“(Jankowski) set a personal best by five points,” McGrigor said. “Kids usually set a personal best by a point, or sometimes even .75, but she shattered her personal best, it was insane.”