CCSA Spotlight: St Olaf

CCSA Spotlight

Base in Northfield, MN, the St Olaf Nordic Ski Team is growing a reputation with its promising close-knit community and growing success. Although with the Ole’s rapid improvements in the CCSA trails, the St Olaf Team also has a strong legacy at the USCSA National Championships, often being a contender for Individual and National Championships.

St Olaf team members after intervals earlier this winter

St Olaf team members after intervals earlier this winter

One major draw to the program is Head Coach Kevin Brochman. Brochman in a renowned Nordic Skiing coach in the United States, having been a two time U.S. Olympian himself, along with coaching several Olympians. He not only coached the 1984 and 1988 Olympic teams but also was named the 1997 U.S. Ski Team Coach of the Year award.   Brochman is in his 8th year coaching at Olaf, and he has led the athletes to numerous U.S. College Skiing Association National Championships titles, along with coaching both Paige Schember in 2014 and Jake Brown in 2015 to the NCAAs. “The nordic team is a very close group of skiers,” says former Olympian and Head Coach, Kevin Brochman, “They often study together, eat together and still have time to train together. Their cohesiveness makes it easy to coach in many ways”.

Members of the St Olaf Women's team

Members of the St Olaf Women’s team

Hosting one of the larger rosters in the CCSA, Olaf draws many of its athletes from Minnesota and the team bonds quickly, building a community within the team. “I love my team. Everyone is so supportive of one another which creatures a great team atmosphere. This allows us to have fun where we go while maintaining a high level of competition,” expressed Lucia Wyland. The team not only has the custom of traveling to West Yellowstone every Thanksgiving for a training camp, but Brochman also says the team trains a lot during the summer together, often getting together at cabins in Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin for mini-training camps and bonding time. “One of my favorite traditions that the ski team has is that most years is that around finals time in December, we have a holiday gathering. We watch the movie Elf, and have pasta in the style of the movie (with maple syrup and candy), and follow it up with a gift exchange! It’s a wholesome break to finals stress!” stated Ware-Joncas.

The St Olaf team after a very success weekend in Rhinelander, WI this season

The St Olaf team after a very successful weekend in Rhinelander, WI this season

One of two liberal art schools in the CSSA, Olaf is a great choice for a student who is looking to ski on a college team but also wants to pursue other experiences. “[Skiers] go to college at St Olaf to be well-rounded student-athletes” Brochman states, “Often they are part of the band, the choir, or doing a fall sport before they join the nordic team. In the fall some are on the soccer team and some are on the cross country team”

“St Olaf for me had a little bit of everything I wanted. I chose the school because of its strong background in health sciences, and the focus on study abroad and music expressed Spencer Ware-Joncas. “I loved that I could truly do a liberal arts experience and study Exercise Science and German. I wasn’t completely certain what I wanted in a college, so I came to St Olaf, partially because I could try so many different things!”