The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh should have nothing but admiration for their Athletic Training Program students, as the team recently won the 5th Annual National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Jeopardy-style quiz bowl taking home $1,000 for the program.
The competition was held on June 26.
In order to qualify, schools must win at the state and regional levels and that is exactly what the UW Oshkosh athletic training students did in April of last year and again this March. Represented by recent UW Oshkosh graduates Steve Klein, Dalton Venden, Evan Schmidt and Mike Piazza, the team brought in the win.
“I was shocked when we won and also humbled. It was great to see all of our hard work pay off and I was happy to bring recognition to Oshkosh’s athletic training program and give it recognition out of the whole United States. It was just really neat to be a part of it,” Venden said.
Klein, Venden and Piazza were the participants at the state and regional levels, Schmidt was the alternate. For Nationals, Schmidt stepped in for Piazza, who was unable to attend due to starting physical therapy school in West Virginia.
The group that traveled to Las Vegas for the competition included Klein, Venden, Schmidt, Dr. Robert Sipes, athletic training program director and Kim Calvert, UW Oshkosh clinical coordinator.
“To have Steve, Evan and Dalton win the National Quiz Bowl exceeds any expectations I could ever have. I can’t say enough about how proud I am. They have represented themselves and the UWO athletic training program with distinction to athletic trainers across the nation,” said Calvert.
The UW Oshkosh group represented district four at the competition, which included six states: Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The NATA Annual Conference was composed of ten districts and was presented in a Jeopardy-style format, where each team had a clicker and could answer each question. The faster the team answered, the more points they earned.
“We all played a role in it. I held the clicker, just like ones students would have in class. We had about 8 seconds to respond and if you answer the fastest you get the most points, but if you get it wrong you receive negative points,” said Venden.
For the final round, teams could wager points. They received a minute to discuss and write down an answer while the judges determined which answers are correct. The final question was: “What is the name of a fracture when the proximal fibula is fractured as a result of a high ankle sprain?” The group answered “Maisonneuve Fracture” and was one of three teams to get it correct.
With that right answer and everyone’s hard work they were able to be the first school in Wisconsin to win the NATA Quiz Bowl as well as already being the first school to win the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers’ Association (GLATA) Quiz Bowl, which gave Sipes another reason to be proud of the UW Oshkosh athletic training program.
“These students have gone out around the country and spread a great name for our university and our athletic training program. Most of our athletic training students are sought after for graduate assistant positions because of their preparedness from our program. I feel that our program is one of the strongest programs in the state and I am proud of the students that we graduate,” said Sipes.
Venden agreed with Sipes and put all of the recognition back to the professors. He stated that without them, he and his fellow classmates would not be where they are today.
“My schooling at UW Oshkosh was amazing. The professors do a great job! Our athletic training education program, I believe, is one of the best in the region. Just with my experience, I completed over 2,000 hours of clinical work, so it prepares you very well. The professors do a fantastic job and are very helpful. It is one of the best because they put in so much time for us,” said Venden.
Winning the quiz bowl displayed all of the hard work that athletic training students put in year in and year out. They were also able to show what they learned through presenting research that they worked on this past year. At the NATA Conference, Venden, Klein and Schmidt presented a poster project and stood by to answer questions about it.
With all of the athletic training students putting in their time and effort, the quiz bowl national champions hope to continue their success in the real world and that is exactly the path that they are heading down.
Klein is headed to Atlanta, Georgia for his master’s at Georgia State University, Piazza is already off to physical therapy school at West Virginia University, Venden is at Michigan State University working with track and cross country athletes and Schmidt is in the Fox Valley area currently looking for his next opportunity.