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Eagles Win First in State for Sports Medicine

The members of the Issaquah High School Sports Medicine team at the state competition

The future of medicine is in good hands, if our students’ success at recent health science and sports medicine conferences is any indication. Issaquah High School brought home first place from the Washington State Sports Medicine Competition in Spokane last weekend.

Todd Parsons, who teaches sports medicine at I.H.S. along with Joseph Nguyen, said the team had an amazing weekend. “They are all so passionate about sports medicine, and all worked so incredibly hard all year dedicating hundreds of hours individually towards giving their own personal best to this field of study. By winning this competition, it qualifies us to once again compete in the Sports Medicine National Championships,” Parsons said. 

He shared a bit about the competition, noting that Washington is the home of the first high school sports medicine programs around the nation as well as the first sports medicine competition in the nation. More than 1,000 students were competing from 57 schools. All students take 200 questions worth of General Sports Medicine Tests, and there are individual disciplines of Practical Skill Specialists, Medical Terminology Specialists, Anatomy and Physiology Specialists, Emergency Medicine Specialists, Exercise Physiology Specialist, Quiz Bowls, and a competition called “Anatomage,” which is a 6-foot, interactive cadaver table that the students use to find anatomy structures. 

Elsie Whelan, co-president of Issaquah Sports Medicine, has participated since her sophomore year when she took an introductory class. “I enjoy that I get to interact with new people and also learn more about medicine, it's a fun combination of a scientific and social profession which makes it really fun to engage in,” Whelan said. “This program is a really good way to get involved in the realm of medicine especially if it's something you're interested in but that you're not 100% sure about because the intro class is incredibly interesting, and the content is less in depth. The advanced class is super fun and it's a really tight knit and supportive community.” 

“When we found out we won the competition, I felt so much appreciation for the hard work that everyone had put into the competition to get us to that finishing point, it was really gratifying to know that all of everyone's hard work had paid off and we had reached our goal together,” she said. 

Charlotte Philipsen, vice president of the club, said that she got into sports medicine after she broke her finger in freshman year and later “absolutely fell in love with learning about the human body and different sports injuries.” 

“I have continued to the advanced sports medicine class under Todd Parsons where I have thrived, been able to compete at the state and national level and where I've found my home,” she continued. “One of my favorite memories this year at state was our Anatomage competition. ... We placed second in the state, losing by one point, but the comradery and the fluidity of our team was so inspiring.” 

Members of the Quiz Bowl team, which is one part of the state Sports Medicine competition.


Some members of the team also competed in Anatamoge


Members of the IHS Sports Med team visited sights in Spokane such as this giant Radio Flyer wagon