Athletic medicine team defends title

Winning never gets old for the South Kitsap High School Athletic Medicine program.

A team of eight varsity members — seven seniors and one junior — entered Auburn-Riverside High School last weekend as the team to beat, but SK left the rest of the competition fighting for second best.

Winner of the last three state competitions, SK notched its fourth straight championship, though not without a fight from Wenatchee High School.

Out of a possible 2,000 points, SK scored 1,498.

Wenatchee followed with 1,440 points, and West Valley was third with 1,367 points.

It’s the third straight time Wenatchee has placed second behind SK.

Individually, six of the top 10 scores went to SK students.

Nicole Bates, the lone junior on the team, earned the school’s top honors with second overall finish (302 points) — just 10 points behind the winner.

Phil Bilderback took fourth place (300), Ashley Robinson was fifth (296), Ryan Evanoff was eighth (279), Phil Esteves finished ninth (274), and Kelsey Herstad was 10th (274).

Rounding out the varsity scoring was Teresa Schlafer (17th, 270 points) and Brett Lang (23rd, 268).

The student trainers were required to take three written tests and one oral test for a total of 400 points.

Each team’s top five scores from each test were submitted into the final scoring.

The athletic medicine program is taught by certified athletic trainers Pat Olsen and Freda Colborg.

Olsen said it was tough to predict how this year’s team would finish.

“We weren’t really sure,” Olsen said. “There’s some good kids, but they’ve been through a lot.”

The athletic medicine family was shaken last fall with the death of fellow student trainer Angela Champneys.

Olsen said some of the student trainers stepped up to the plate.

“Ashley Robinson, for her to to finish that high (fifth) was a big surprise,” Olsen said. “Not that she couldn’t do it. We just didn’t know which Ashley would show up. (Nicole) Bates came up huge. She scored an 80 out of 100 on the second written test, which was the second highest score.”

On the oral test all the student trainers scored a 90 or higher, Olsen said.

“They worked real hard,” he said. “They may not have known the most (than other groups) but they put in the most study sessions.”

While last year’s tests were considered the most difficult since its inception, all eight of the varsity scores were higher than the first-place scores of 259 points set by former SK students Josh Holt and Darrell Lambert.

Olsen compared the competitive nature of the tests to that of a sporting event.

“It’s not brotherly or sisterly,” Olsen said. “It’s cutthroat. The students feel ostracized when they compete.”

Wenatchee came closest to dethroning SK’s reign.

It had individuals place first and third, but the number of SK students in the top 10 kept Wenatchee at bay.

“Obviously Wenatchee are good competitors for our kids,” Olsen said. “We weren’t as far apart as I would have liked to see but...they did very well.”

SK’s junior varsity team also competed at the state competition.

The junior varsity teams took the same written tests but did not take the oral test.

SK placed in 13 of the first 14 places.

Frank Smith was the junior varsity champion with 197 points (out of 300 points).

Scott Kasten was second with 192 points.

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