St. Mary's Academy photos
Becca Sankovitz pushes and glides along the trail.
St. Mary's Academy photos
Becca Sankovitz pushes and glides along the trail.
St. Mary’s Academy’s Nordic ski team is 23 strong this year. The Blues’ roster boasts 13 returning skiers and 10 new skiers, led by captains Carolyn Demaree, Brigit O’Sullivan and Charlotte Umanoff.

Last year, the Nordic Blues placed sixth overall at state, and the team looks forward to an even stronger performance this year, says head coach Candace Bonner.

Nordic racing is the most aerobic of all competitive sports, tied only with marathon running, Bonner said. It is a no-impact, total-body sport that requires upper-body and arm strength, as well as leg strength, coordination and balance.

“We are the muscle-powered ski sport,” Bonner said.

In addition to strength, the team focuses on overall wellness.

“Our Nordic team emphasizes good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, as well as preparing our team members for lifelong fitness,” Bonner said. “We believe in pushing our girls to compete to their highest potential and believe that this requires a solid foundation of good health."

Nordic ski racing has long been a major high-school and college sport in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States, as well as in Europe. It is a more recent arrival on the West Coast.

In 2001, high-school Nordic racing made its way to Oregon. Leading the charge, St. Mary’s founded its first team that same year. St. Mary’s now has one of the state’s most veteran high-school Nordic racing teams.

This year, Bonner and returning assistant coach Mary Wagner are joined by three new assistant coaches: David Burke, Catherine Jäger and Jessica Smith-Blockley.

Kate O’Sullivan returns as assistant coach and also has taken on the roles of team manager and parent representative.

“We are excited about the depth and experience of our new coaches and expect them to push us to even greater achievements,” Bonner said.
St. Mary's Academy Nordic skiing schedule
Jan. 12 at Hoodoo
Jan. 26 at Teacup
Feb. 1 at Mount Hood Meadows
Feb. 7 at Hoodoo
Feb. 16 at Mount Hood Meadows
March 1-2 State Championship at Mount Bachelor