LCHS Sports Medicine Team Takes 2nd Place

La Cañada High School’s star sports medicine students shone again recently, finishing second in the large schools team division at the 17th annual St. Francis High School Regional Sports Medicine Competition.
Thirty-nine young Spartan trainers participated, alongside representatives of 40 schools from Kansas, Washington and California. They all were tested on a variety of sports-medicine related topics, focusing this year on the lower leg, ankle and foot.
Three LCHS students also were awarded individual medals in the Rookie Division, with Nyree Khachikyan taking second place, Abbey Frederich third and Aiden Phillips fourth.
“It was a really fun competition,” said Chloe Kerstein, who finished fifth in the nation individually. “Mrs. [Kim] Crosby and Mrs. [Melanie] Harrick both prepared us a lot, they both spent so much time after school helping us prepare — honestly, the only reason we did so well is because of them.”
But next year “them” will be “her;” Harrick is opting to dedicate herself entirely to her physical therapy position with Grand Care Home Health instead of splitting her efforts between her patients and her pupils.
Together, Harrick and Crosby wrote the sports medicine class curriculum 10 years ago and co-taught the class together since, alternating weeks.
“As a therapist, it kept my skills sharp,” Harrick said. “As a therapist, you get your education and you do your thing, but it’s kept me current with what’s going on with athletic training.”
And she helped students discover whether or not they wanted to become physical therapists: Many did, but some did not, including one student who dropped the course after a semester having discovered that the anatomy and injury-related studies he’d planned to pursue in college were not for him.
But many students have continued to study physical therapy in college, including one recent graduate who is about to start shadowing Harrick on the job.
“Students ask,” Harrick said, “if I can help them along the way. Of course!”
She said she’ll remain available to substitute for Crosby — although, Harrick said, Crosby hasn’t needed a sub in a decade.
“The hardest part for me is going to be missing the kids, they’re amazing,” Harrick said. “They eat it up and it really gives them a jumpstart into college and into the field.”
“The appeal of it is just helping others,” said Kerstein, a volleyball player and rising senior. “Since I was young I always had an interest in anatomy and the human body and learning how to prevent and help treat injuries … and just be as prepared as I can be in case of an emergency.
“It’s really practical,” Kerstein added, “you definitely can apply this to everyday life.”

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