Rachel Pettitt, 15, of Whitehorse has won the gold medal in the novice women's division at the Canadian National Figure Skating Championships in Kingston, Ont.

Pettitt had the best free skate program in Tuesday's competition which moved her up in the standings from third to first, making her the first-ever Yukoner to win a national figure skating championship.

"I went out there and skated how I wanted to skate, how I've been training and it paid off," Pettitt said.

Rachel Pettitt

Rachel Pettitt skates at the 2015 national figure skating championships in Kingston, Ont. (Stephan Potopnyk/Skate Canada)


"I had a clean program and got a personal best in my free program, managed to win. It was super exciting; it was really hard to believe.

"I was standing by the boards watching the last two skaters, because I knew I got a medal and I wasn't sure what place I was going to get. I was first when I finished, and there were two more skaters. Then I was in second and then the last skater skated and my coaches and I were jumping around and hugging, it was so exciting."

Pettitt will be competing at the Canada Winter Games in February and then attending a national training camp in April.

She says it's too early to talk about making the Olympic team someday, but it's always on her mind.

Pettitt lives and trains in Kelowna, B.C. Her mom Trish has moved there to be with her while her dad Kerry and brothers remain in Whitehorse. 

Pettitt says she trains six days per week, three to four hours of on-ice training and about two hours per day off-ice. She misses half a day of school because of training all afternoon.

She will move to the junior women's division next year.