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3-Peat! Athletic Training Quiz Bowl Team Wins Third Ohio Title

Students Answer 24 of 25 Final Round Questions Correctly

January 18, 2011

Pictured from the left are team members Erin Cane, Robbie Oates, coach Larry Howard, Cody Pontius and Alex Geier.

Pictured from the left are team members Erin Cane, Robbie Oates, coach Larry Howard, Cody Pontius and Alex Geier.

Wilmington College joined the ranks of the Green Bay Packers and New York Yankees as winners of a “3-peat” - three consecutive championships.

The College’s Athletic Training Quiz Bowl team repeated as Ohio champion in the state competition held Jan. 15 at the University of Akron. Team members are seniors Erin Cane, Alex Geier and Cody Pontius, and junior Robbie Oates.

WC’s sports medicine program has arguably attained dynasty status as the Quiz Bowl team captured state titles in 2006, 2009, 2010 and now 2011. The 2009 team went on to win the six-state Great Lakes District title and place seventh in the nation.

The team’s coach, Larry Howard, athletic training program director, said this year’s state contest featured 16 colleges and universities in the Ohio Athletic Training Association Quiz Bowl Championship that included The Ohio State University, Kent State, Baldwin-Wallace, Ashland and Toledo.

"The first round was close; in fact I was sweating bullets unsure that we would advance,” he said, noting that, since the electronic scoring system was on the fritz, the competition was scored by hand and, thus, running totals were unavailable.

WC ended up defeating Wright State, Ohio University and Urbana in the opening round by 400 points to advance to the final round versus Otterbein, Heidelberg and Akron.

There, Wilmington answered an incredible 24 of 25 questions correctly, earning 6,100 points to runner-up Otterbein’s 2,500.

“The finals was a piece of cake,” Howard said. “It was a decisive victory, an outstanding win.”

The Quiz Bowl is formatted much like television’s Jeopardy! The two-hour competition features five questions in five categories and the questions get progressively more difficult.

The team will face champions from five other states (Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Minnesota) at the Great Lakes Athletic Training Association’s District Quiz Bowl Championships March 10 through 12 in Minneapolis. Winners from the 10 district competitions will face off this summer for the national championship in New Orleans.

“I was congratulated and asked by a competitor’s coach how we have done so well each year,” Howard recalled. “I told him, ‘We have awesome athletic training students and faculty, and we work together as a team.’”

With some 85 students in the program, athletic training is one of the largest academic areas at Wilmington College, as well as among its most prominent. It is nationally accredited through The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education.

WC’s athletic training seniors in 2010 passed the Board of Certification examination on their first try at twice the national rate. Indeed, a “phenomenal” 90 percent of Wilmington’s 2010 AT graduates succeeded on the comprehensive test last April.

The national average for passing on the first attempt is about 45 percent. In 2008 and 2009, WC’s students succeeded with a first-time rate of better than 75 percent.

Also, the AT program boasts another winning streak: a Wilmington College student has won the Ohio Athletic Training Association’s “Exceptional Research” award each year since 2005.

As the Quiz Bowl team prepares for the district competition in March, freshmen, sophomores and juniors are realizing they will have an opportunity to continue making history at future Ohio AT Quiz Bowls. Indeed, records are made to be broken as they look to surpass the Green Bay Packers, which won consecutive NFL championships in 1965, 1966 and 1967, and the Yankees, which took the World Series in 1998 through 2000.

Wilmington can see future milestones on the horizon — the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders won four Stanley Cups between 1980 and 1983, and John Wooden’s UCLA men’s basketball team captured seven straight NCAA titles in 1967 through 1973.