The bubbly Year 11 student, who is establishing herself as a fan-favourite for her crowd pleasing performances, broke into the top ten at a Junior Grand Prix for the first time with a total score of 147.25, landing a triple lutz combination in the short and free programs, plus introducing the triple flip to her technical repertoire this season.
Kailani’s steady improvement early in the season started out in Colorado Springs last month with a 12th place at her first Junior Grand Prix before a two week training stint in Los Angeles with coach Tiffany Chin before heading to Europe for Nebelhorn Trophy and the Spanish Junior Grand Prix.
The committed competitor admitted she is after top ten places this season.
“I will keep working harder to be the best I can be,” she said. “Training in LA really helps and we worked on attacking the risky jumps a little faster, cleaning up the spins and upgrading the edge warm ups to increase my stroking power.”
Legendary Olympic coach Crista Fassi is also working with Kailani, focussing on the jumps including the edge quality into the lutz.
“Crista is happy with the way the jumps are cleaning up and rotating to backwards more often now. That was a target area for me and we will keep at it.”
“Tiffany wants me to make things look smoother and improve my extension – so there’s plenty to do.”
The short training spell in LA helped to set the start of the season before Kailani and her coach headed to Nebelhorn Trophy, Germany for her first Senior Challenger B event, where she placed 8th and posted a PB in the short program of 50.42, which she bettered again in Spain by scoring 50.80.
20-year-old Olympian Brooklee Han finished in 7th place at Nebelhorn, placing both Australians in the top ten and earning valuable rankings points.
Kailani will return home for the NSW Championships before competing in her second Challenger B competition in Austria later this month.