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Skate Canada – HALIFAX – First year partners MacKenzie Bent of Uxbridge, Ont., and Dmitre Razgulajevs of Toronto won the gold medal in ice dancing as junior competition concluded Thursday at the 2016 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships.

Bent and Uxbridge totalled 145.31 points for the victory with Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha of Montreal second at 141.23 and Melinda Meng and Andrew Meng of Montreal third at 139.12. It was a second Canadian junior title for Bent who won with former partner Garrett MacKeen in 2014.

‘’We paired up in June and haven`t had a break so it’s been pretty crazy,’’ said Bent, a silver medallist with her new partner this past fall at an ISU Junior Grand Prix event. ‘’But it seems to have paid off. We are gaining confidence with each of our performances.’’

In pairs, Hope McLean and Trennt Michaud of London, Ont., were the winners at 154.45 with Bryn Hoffman and Bryce Chudak of Calgary second at 139.15 and Allison Eby and Brett Varley of Cambridge, Ont., third at 136.01.

‘’It’s just great to have that skate under our belts heading into the world juniors,’’ said McLean. ‘’We know what we are capable of and we just have to keep pushing.’’

In men’s competition, Joseph Phan of Gatineau, Que., took the junior crown scoring 189.30 while Edrian Paul Celestino of Montreal was second at 179.92 and Christian Reekie of Orleans, Ont., third at 164.65.

‘’I’m happy to win the title,’’ said Phan. ‘’I was more stressed during my long program because I didn’t have a very good warm-up. I was really struggling with my triple Lutz so it was a big moment when I landed it successfully in the competition.’’

Sarah Tamura of Burnaby, B.C., Alicia Pineault of Montreal and Megan Yim of Vancouver were 1-2-3 in women’s competition.

The senior competition concludes the nationals on Friday and Saturday.

More information: http://skatecanada.ca/event/2016-canadian-tire-national-skating-championships/

By Louis Daignault for Skate Canada