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Athletic Training Quiz Bowl Team Places Seventh in Nation

State and District Champs Bet the Farm in Final Jeopardy

June 23, 2009

The clock struck midnight on the Cinderella season enjoyed by Wilmington College’s Athletic Training Quiz Bowl team.

The 2009 Ohio and six-state Great Lakes District champions were defeated June 20 at the national Quiz Bowl championships held in San Antonio, Texas, in conjunction with the National Athletic Training Association’s (NATA) annual meeting.

Larry Howard, the team’s coach and WC’s athletic training program director, said they gave “their best effort” in placing seventh in the nation.

The College’s team includes Alex Rhinehart, Jacqueline Borda and Jesse Parthemore, all of whom graduated in May.

Chapman University from Orange, Calif., won the competition, which featured teams from the top institutions hosting athletic training and sports medicine programs.

Howard said Wilmington, which at times was leading the competition, was fourth going into the final round. The Quiz Bowl follows the format of TV’s Jeopardy!

“We wagered most of our points to try to catch up in Final Jeopardy, but didn’t answer the question correctly,” he said. “Although we weren’t able to pull out another victory, I told them making the top 10 in the nation was a tremendous achievement — we are proud of them.”

Howard noted the group also had a chance to attend NATA’s athletic training symposium and see the sites of San Antonio. In addition, they connected with nearly two-dozen WC athletic training alumni attending the NATA meeting.

In qualifying for the national Quiz Bowl competition, the team first defeated The Ohio State University in Columbus in January to win the state Quiz Bowl championship, repeating its 2006 Ohio title.

Then, over the College’s spring break in March, the team traveled to Fort Wayne, Ind., where they nipped Michigan State University for the NATA Great Lakes District 4 Quiz Bowl title.

As one of 10 district champions, Wilmington advanced to the first-ever National AT Quiz Bowl Championship in San Antonio.

Wilmington is one of 80 certified athletic training/sports medicine programs in the Great Lakes District and is among 380 in the nation. The Great Lakes District is by far the largest of the 10 nationwide.

Their appearance in the national competition capped an outstanding year for Wilmington College’s athletic training program and especially its seniors that graduated in May.

Howard said WC’s athletic training seniors passed the Board of Certification examination on their first try at a rate nearly twice the national rate. Indeed, a “phenomenal” 82 percent of Wilmington’s 2009 AT graduates succeeded on the comprehensive test in April.

The national average on passing the first attempt is about 45 percent, he said. In 2008 and 2009, WC’s students passed at a first-time rate of more than 75 percent.

Also this spring, Alex Rhinehart became the fifth consecutive WC AT major to receive the Ohio Athletic Training Association’s Exceptional Research Award.

Howard said he expects the department will host a record 110 athletic training students in August.