SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Hannah Dawson of Ottawa improved from 15th place last year to top spot on Thursday in junior women’s competition at the 2019 Canadian Tire Nationals Skating Championships being held this week at Harbour Station.

Dawson was standing third after the short progam, but produced a powerful free skate to take the title with 140.92 points. Madeline Schizas of Oakville, Ont., also made a nice comeback climbing from sixth to second with 134.59. In third was Reagan Scott of Lancaster, Ont., at 134.46.

“It’s so unreal,” said Dawson. “I’ve had a lot of rough skates and reflecting back those really helped me become mentally strong. You can’t take things for granted. You still have to go out and attack. You can’t let one mistake affect you. You rally have to bring it back.”

In junior men, Aleksa Rakic of Burnaby, B.C., placed first with 199.10. Beres Clements of Richmond, B.C., surged from fourth for the silver at 191.02 and Corey Circelli of Toronto, the leader after the short, was third at 181.98.

In junior pairs, Chloe Chouinard of Frankford, Ont., and Mathieu Ostiguy of St-Angele-de-Monnoir, Que., fifth last year, took the gold with 142.03. Brooke McIntosh and Brandon Toste of Toronto followed at 137.91 and Gabrielle Levesque of Bridgewater, N.S. and Pier-Alexandre Hudon of St.-Roch-des-Aulnaies, Que., were third at 135.67.

“We said we were going to have fun with that program and took one element at a time,” said Chouinard. “We had a blast. This is like a dream.”

In novice pairs, Quebec teams were 1-2 with Kelly Ann Laurin and Loucas Ethier of Rosemere first, Jamie Fournier and Gabriel Farand of Brossard second while Mackenzie Ripley and Owen Brawley of Kitchener, Ont., third.

“It’s good to see all the hard work pay off at the final competition of the year,” said Ethier. “This is our first year together and we really wanted to go out there and enjoy the moment.”

The senior competition gets underway Friday with the four short programs. The free skates are on Saturday.

Full information: https://sc3staging.skatecanada.ca/2019-canadian-tire-national-skating-championships/