WILMINGTON — Wilmington College’s athletic training program chalked up another prestigious milestone as its Quiz Bowl team won the state title Feb. 16. It will represent Ohio in the six-state regional competition in mid-March.
The 2019 Ohio Athletic Trainers Association Quiz Bowl championship team is comprised of junior Emily Rinehart and seniors Kayla Marrero, Thomas “TJay” Burbage and Taylor Priest (alternate), and coached by Dr. J. Brett Massie, associate professor of athletic training.
The state title is the first since 2012, when the team won its fourth consecutive Ohio championship (2009-2012). It also won in 2006 while in 2011 WC captured the Great Lakes regional title and placed fourth in the nation.
The AT program’s august history was not lost on the team members as they prepared for the state competition held on Ohio University’s Dublin campus.
“Since freshman year, Quiz Bowl has been hyped up,” Burbage said. “We went in believing we had a chance to win.”
The first round pitted 15 teams from colleges and universities from across Ohio against one another in a competition similar in format to TV’s Jeopardy. Those questions were largely from topics learned during the first two years and “Emily killed it,” he said, noting WC sat comfortably in third place after the initial round. Ohio University led with the top five teams advancing to the next round.
The College’s contingent gained traction in second round and found themselves leading with 6,700 points to Mount St. Joseph’s 6,600 as they went into the last round, which — like “Final Jeopardy” — features a single question on which teams can wager as many or few of their accumulated points.
“Our strategy was to wager more points than Mount St. Joe could, so, if we answered correctly, we would be assured of winning; however, if we gave the wrong answer, it would be possible we would finish last,” Burbage said.
The question was a bit of a curveball as it deviated from the usual, technical questions involving anatomy, kinesiology and sports injuries. It was, “Where will the Ohio Athletic Trainers’ Association annual conference be held in 2019?” The team members “looked at each other with blank stares” as they contemplated the question.
Then, suddenly, Marrero said she knew the answer: “The Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, Ohio.”
She recalled Robbie Oates, a WC alumnus and certified athletic trainer who works with several WC sports, mentioned to her, when they were working a men’s basketball practice together, that he would be presenting at the upcoming meeting.
“I was expecting a question like, ‘Name the brachial plexus’ or something challenging in athletic training.” Burbage added. “We ended up winning with more than 13,000 points!”
The team will compete March 15 in Chicago against the state winners representing Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota, with the regional winner advancing to the national Quiz Bowl in Las Vegas this June.
Burbage said their victory is further evidence of the top quality education they are receiving at the College.
“It’s no myth that Wilmington College’s athletic training program is superb, the combination of classroom knowledge and hands-on learning experience is outstanding,” he said. “Our faculty is really great. It’s a close-knit group of students, faculty and staff in athletic training.”