Larkyn Austman is looking to bag herself a natural hat trick this weekend.
The 14-year-old Coquitlam-based figure skater is riding high on a pair of recent first-place results, and is looking to continue replicating that form ahead of this weekend's Autumn Leaves competition in Kamloops.
Competing in the junior ladies division, which is essentially an under-19 bracket, Austman heads into this weekend's B.C. Super Series event with momentum on her side.
Austman has aced the last two meets she's competed in, copping first-place finishes at the Sask Skate competition in late September and the SummerSkate Competition at Burnaby's 8 Rinks in August.
"She's very dedicated and an extremely hard worker," said her mother Heather, one of two coaches Larkyn trains under.
"Her worth ethic is what drives her more than anything. You can chalk up [her recent results] to training and a bunch of other stuff, but really, it's her work ethic more than anything."
Despite besting all comers in both the short and free programs, Larkyn's last competitive foray at the Sask Skate Invitational wasn't without its hiccups. Her dress broke minutes before taking to the ice for her short program, though she rebounded with a polished free program to take stop spot in a field of 23 other skaters.
"My short program was not my best, because I was fairly stressed out before hand," said Larkyn, who recorded a score of 36.28 during her short program and 74.19 in the free program. "But during my long program, I felt really good. I get excited when I'm able to perform like that."
That win in late September mirrored her performance in Burnaby in late August, when she nailed down gold at the SummerSkate competition.
Her first meet of the season, however, saw the Dr. Charles Best student up against an exceedingly tough field at a meet in California in July where she ultimately placed eighth.
"It is really difficult to compete in the States," said Austman, who represents the Connaught Skating Club in Richmond. "There's more [competitors] and they're really hard to compete against. It was my first competition of the season, so it wasn't perfect. But it was a good start to the season."
And while an eighth-place finish is nothing to complain about, it serves as the only blemish on what has been an exceptional 18 months for the young figure skater.
Earlier this year, she claimed a silver medal at the Canadian Figure Skating championships in Moncton, N.B, and was a recipient of a Wall of Fame induction for her 2011 exploits by the Coquitlam Hall of Fame in June. Her competitive resume in 2011 saw Larkyn win gold medals at both the BC/ Yukon Summerskate and BC Coast Regionals. She also copped gold at the B.C. Coast Regional Fall Skate Fest last October and was the B.C. juvenile ladies champion in 2010.
"Ultimately, her goal, as any little girl's dream is, is to be at the Olympics some day - she seems to be on track," Heather said.
After this weekend's meet, Larkyn will have her sights set on the provincials, which go in mid November in Parksville. The top four skaters from provincials will then qualify for the Skate Canada Challenge in December, the last big-ticket tourney before nationals are held in January.
In between now and then, the mother-daughter team will be working to add at least one more triple jump into the repertoire.
"With the way that I skate, I know my body well enough that I don't usually have two bad competitions in a row," Larkyn said. "And if I do, I have to forget about it. It's difficult to do, but you have to."
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