Sports Medicine Team Wins First at the National Sports Medicine Competition


Michelle So, Campus Focus Editor

Very few can boast life-saving skills like Arcadia High School’s (AHS) Sports Medicine team. From sub-minute ankle taping to CPR certification, their talents have brought both practical applications and bragging rights. The team of eight students, Nathan Chang, Haniel Chuang, Kaya Chung, Roman Cicero, Ava Cody, Refka Ibrahim, Navya Kannan, and Nicole May, competed for the first time at the National Sports Medicine Competition on Mar. 18 at Cal State Northridge against 41 other schools and 600 students. Unsurprisingly, AHS swept the competition, placing top three in nearly every category and winning first overall!

The most nerve-wracking moments occurred during one of sophomore Nathan Chang’s team events, the anatomy portion. 

We were down a significant number of points,” Chang said of their final round against Agoura High School. “Obviously, Agoura was a really good school. But, that last minute was really intense because we knew we had to get some of [the questions] right even though we got to a point where we didn’t know some of them fully.”

A few lucky shots and educated guesses later, AHS pulled through with a slim win of 275-269.

Advisor and teacher Mr. Jack Sessions was pleased with the team’s performance and couldn’t help but express his excitement.

“We did really well—the best we’ve ever done the competition,” Sessions said. “We won that team overall award. We won the individual entry award. We came third in the medical terminology award…This whole thing was out of 41 schools, and about 600 plus students. So we did pretty well!”

The only thing the team could have done better on, said Sessions, was the Medical Quiz Bowl, a Jeopardy-style event that AHS did not place in. For future years, he intends to cover more of the written part of the exam, a far cry from their current focus on practicality.

I’m a better hands-on teacher than I am an academic teacher,” he admitted. “And this class [Medical and Therapeutic Principles in Sport] is really hands-on. So it allows the students to just basically get up and do something almost every day, whether it’s like CPR or taping.”

In addition to numerous life-sized skeleton models and CPR mannequins, the Sports Medicine class is also in ownership of an Anatomage.

The massive digital monolith is essentially “a very expensive human digital cadaver,” said Sessions. 

The six-foot-long device cost roughly $80,000—a price that Sessions believes is more than worth it. 

“It can roam anywhere you like, stand upright (so you can look at a human body from an upright position). And instead of using full-blown cadavers, it’s obviously more sanitary. More expensive, but more sanitary,” Sessions added.

The high tech resources and high stakes competition have also helped Chang guide his career interests in a certain direction.

I knew I wanted to pursue something in medicine, but this class kind of reinforced that,” he said, gesturing to the ligament models and laid-out automated external defibrillator. “All the lectures, everything in class was super fun and super informative. And I think that also helped guide me towards wanting to join the medical field.”

Congratulations to the Sports Medicine team once again on their well-deserved win! 


Photo courtesy of AHS Sports Med