Kinesiology Students Win National Competition

By Laura L. Acosta

UTEP News Service

Clue: This university is the first in Texas to win the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Student Bowl.

Answer: What is UTEP?

Modeled after the game show Jeopardy, the 6th annual 2013 ACSM Student Bowl is a national academic competition where undergraduate kinesiology students showcased their knowledge of exercise science during the ACSM’s 60th Annual Meeting May 29.2013 ACSM Student Bowl champions from UTEP include, from left, John Moreno, Heather Wincapaw and Logan Petry. Photo courtesy of UTEP Department of Kinesiology.   2013 ACSM Student Bowl champions from UTEP include, from left, John Moreno, Heather Wincapaw and Logan Petry. Photo courtesy of UTEP Department of Kinesiology.

This year’s victory belongs to UTEP kinesiology students John Moreno, Logan Petry, and Heather Wincapaw, who came out on top after facing completion from nine universities representing ACSM regional chapters across the nation. This is the first time that a team from the Texas Regional Chapter won the event. 

“The competition was nerve-wracking at times, but once things started rolling, our confidence really picked up,” Petry said.

Teams of three students were quizzed on exercise science related topics such as anatomy, pathophysiology and strength and conditioning in an answer-and-question format similar to Jeopardy.

As the winners of the 4th Annual Student Bowl at the Texas Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (TACSM) conference in February, the Miners traveled to Indianapolis for the national bowl.  

Going into the crucial final round, the UTEP team found itself in third place behind the University of Connecticut and the University of Kansas.

The match grew intense as each team answered the final question: What over-the-counter drug is commonly prescribed as a blood thinner to limit clotting?

Both UTEP and the University of Kansas correctly guessed “What is aspirin?” but the UTEP team had wagered all its winnings to become the evening’s national champion.

“The entire experience was quite amazing,” Moreno said. “Of course I was a bit nervous; not only was I representing UTEP, but the entire state of Texas, as well. However, I was quite confident that we were going to win.”

To bone up for the contest, Moreno, Petry and Wincapaw met weekly with their coaches Justin Porta and Dominic Ramos, both kinesiology graduate students and student bowl veterans. The team took part in mock competitions against other kinesiology students to boost their competitive edge.  

“(The team’s) dedication and commitment is an example of what all UTEP students can accomplish through hard work and perseverance,” said George King, Ph.D., kinesiology associate professor and associate dean of the College of Health Sciences. “Their accomplishment also speaks volumes to the educational quality and professional preparation provided by the Department of Kinesiology.” 

For Moreno, preparing for the challenge not only made him a better player but also a better student.

“Obviously, studying for the competition meant learning even more than I previously had,” Moreno said. “It also helped me refresh my memory on what I had learned in past classes.”

The student bowl also was an opportunity for Petry and his fellow Miners to attend ACSM's annual meeting, the most comprehensive sports medicine and exercise science conference in the world. The University’s Dodson fund helped offset their travel expenses.

“(The conference) exposed us to a lot of new and relevant information in our field,” said Petry, who expects to graduate from UTEP in the fall. “The student bowl really helped us out a lot in our education.”

For more information about the UTEP Kinesiology Department in the College of Health Sciences, visit kinesiology.utep.edu.