WATERLOO, Ont. - The Ryerson Rams captured four medals at the 2011 OUA Figure Skating Championship on Thursday and Friday at the University of Waterloo.
First-year Ram Katherine Bilinsky capped off an impressive rookie season by winning two medals. The Etobicoke, Ont. product earned gold in the Senior Silver Solo Dance on Friday, while also picking up a bronze medal in the Gold Free Skate on Thursday. Bilinsky rebounded from a fifth place result in the Senior Silver Solo Dance at the Winter Invitational in January.
Rams Head Coach Janean Bruhn was ecstatic in speaking of Bilinsky's performance this season. "Katherine's success in the senior silver solo dance is monumental," exclaimed the first-year Coach. "To walk away from (OUA's) dominating the event (in which she had relatively no experience prior to this season) is a true testament to her skill. She is a sensational talent, among the top competitors of OUA figure skating."
Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. native Alysha Gjos earned a gold medal in the Senior Silver Free Skate on Thursday. The Retail Management major had been making a significant progression throughout the season with the Rams after taking a three-year hiatus from the sport. Gjos finished fourth at the Fall Invitational in November, and followed that up with a silver-medal performance at the Winter Invitational less than a month ago.
"Alysha had a great season that built to her peaking with a gold medal performance at OUA's," said Bruhn, who went on to express how proud she was of Gjos. "There was a lot of pressure leading into this competition. She is a strong athlete with a competitive drive. She wanted this win."
Katie Docherty (Cambridge, Ont.) and Lisa Jensen (Toronto) were able to find the podium with a bronze medal performance in the Junior Silver Similar Dance. The pair previously finished sixth at Queen's in the Fall Invitational and fourth in Toronto at the Winter Invitational.
"There are so many variables that go into creating a pairs team in figure skating. When you find a match that works you keep it, and Katie handled the transition of a new partner extremely well," explained Bruhn. As a veteran, her experience was vital to Lisa's training. We will continue their training and look to turn bronze into gold next season."
The Rams finished sixth overall, an impressive showing despite not having a full complement of skaters. The Western Ontario Mustangs finished first.
Bruhn spoke of the tough challenge the team faced this season after losing several veterans. "In the majority of events at this competition I can say it was some of our best skating. I don't feel like we've lost any ground." The Rams matched their OUA medal total from 2008-09, and surpassed the three they brought home from in 2009-10.
Looking ahead to 2011-12, Bruhn's expectations are clear. "We want a team medal, and with the strength we've built this year and the group of recruits coming in for next season it is absolutely in our sights."
1. Western - 87
2. Guelph - 80
3. Queen's - 63
4. Toronto - 56
5. Waterloo - 54
6. Ryerson - 32
7. McMaster - 21
8. Carleton - 8