Shenandoah University students in the Division of Athletic Training excelled at the Virginia Athletic Trainers’ Association (VATA) Annual Meeting on Jan. 13-15 in Harrisonburg.
Graduate athletic training students Cade Watts, Molly Sobolewski, Chloe Tannenbaum and Meghan Flaherty earned first place in the VATA Quiz Bowl, a “Jeopardy”-style competition featuring athletic training programs from Virginia. Watts also won the Professional Athletic Training Student Research Award for his presentation, “Relationship Between Sports-Related Concussion and Cervical Muscle Strength.”
Watts won a stipend as part of the research award and will have the opportunity to present his research at the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Trainers’ Association (MAATA) Annual Symposium in May in Virginia Beach.
Watts’ research focused on the question: Does cervical muscle strength mitigate sport-related concussion risk in adolescent and young athletes? Through systematic review, Watts found that increasing cervical muscle strength, especially neck extension strength, may mitigate sport-related concussion risk in young athletes.
Sobolewski also presented her research question: Can youth baseball pitchers who use weighted-ball programs improve their pitching velocity without causing an increased risk of medial elbow injury? Through critical appraisal, Sobolewski found that there is evidence to support the use of weighted-ball training to increase pitch velocity; however, there is an increased risk of elbow injury in skeletally immature pitchers.
As the winner of the VATA Quiz Bowl, the Shenandoah team takes temporary ownership of a traveling trophy. As part of tradition, the SU students are allowed to add one item that represents Shenandoah University to the trophy.
Watts, Sobolewski, Tannenbaum and Flaherty, as champions of the VATA Quiz Bowl, earned a spot in the MAATA Quiz Bowl in May.