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Athletic Training Quiz Bowl team wins fourth straight Ohio title

Squad headed to district competition

January 17, 2012

Shown, from left, are WC Quiz Bowl team members Chelcey Lyons, Symone McElroy and Robbie Oates. At right is team coach Larry Howard.

Shown, from left, are WC Quiz Bowl team members Chelcey Lyons, Symone McElroy and Robbie Oates. At right is team coach Larry Howard.

Wilmington College continued its dominance over Ohio schools as it captured its fourth consecutive state Athletic Training Quiz Bowl championship Jan. 14.

The team, comprised of seniors Robbie Oates, Symone McElroy and Chelcey Lyons, won the Ohio Athletic Training Association’s annual competition against 18 other Ohio colleges and universities held this year at Ashland University.

Larry Howard, the team’s coach and director of the College’s nationally acclaimed sports medicine program, said the team came into the contest with a bull’s eye on its back as a result of the program’s success — Wilmington won the six-state Great Lakes District and was fourth in the nation in 2011 besides being the three-time defending state champ.

“Everybody’s gunning for us,” he said, noting the successful result was both shocking and yet somewhat expected.

“They practiced hard and prepared well,” he added. “The team deserve all the credit— I’m proud of them.”
As is the case each year, a new group of seniors is selected to the Quiz Bowl team, and this group is writing their own chapter in the dynasty.

“I heard one of them saying after the win, “We got that monkey off our backs,’” Howard said about the pressure the team fells to carry on the tradition of success.

“Each class feels more and more pressure,” he said. “It starts in their freshman year when they first hear me talk about the Quiz Bowl Team.

The win marks the program’s fifth championship, as WC first won the Ohio title in 2006 before its current winning streak.

“It speaks to the overall quality of the program,” he said.

Indeed, besides the Quiz Bowl titles, last spring a “phenomenal” 100 percent of Wilmington’s seniors majoring in athletic training passed the Athletic Training Board of Certification examination on their first try. The national average in 2010 was about 75 percent, Howard said.

Also, the program boasts a near perfect percentage of last year’s graduates either employed or in graduate school.

Howard attributes to the “quality of students” in the sports medicine program and their interest in working together with the “highly qualified” athletic training faculty and staff.

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

Howard said the competition was especially challenging from the start this year when two of the state’s other most successful Quiz Bowl programs, including Ohio State University, were placed with Wilmington in the first round. WC won that round before going on to defeat other first-round winners in the “final Jeopardy!” round.

Wilmington will advance to the Great Lakes District competition in Chicago in March when it represents Ohio while taking on the state champions from Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Wilmington College actually took home two trophies from the Ohio contest, as it also won the inaugural Athletic Training Olympics Relay Race, which included skills tests held under extraordinary conditions.

The team comprised of Holly Grady, Jessica Lowery, Rachel Weitzel and Symone McElroy excelled at such activities as locking arms with a teammate and taping ankles using one arm of each teammate, and being blindfolded and spun around 10 times before having to perform a patella reflex test.