Skip To Main Content

Search Panel

Schools Menu

Issaquah, Liberty, Skyline Students Shine in Sports Medicine, Health Occupations Competitions

Issaquah High School's sports medicine team at the WCTSMA competition in April.

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, with Liberty High School winning second. In March, Skyline High School’s Health Occupations Students of America sent a record-setting 96 members to the Washington Health Occupations Students of America’s State Leadership Conference in Spokane, where they placed in the top five in a number of events. 

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. 

Morten Orren, who teaches Sports Medicine and Health at Liberty, said “I could not be more proud of the work that my students did this year! The work that they put in to prepare blew me away. They took advantage of every opportunity to study and constantly showed that they wanted to succeed.” 

“I pointed them in the directions that they wanted to go, and they took off! They created their own study guides and always asked me for more! At the same time that they were working hard, they also made sure to have fun,” Orren continued. “They were a great group to work with and the excitement on their faces when the results were announced was one of the best things to see! This event is always a great team building experience and I have a feeling that this is one that they will never forget.” 

We asked some of the students on the teams to share a bit about how they initially became involved in sports medicine and health science-related classes, and what they enjoyed about their experiences. Here’s what they had to say: 

Issaquah High School

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.” 

Issaquah High School's sports medicine team at the WCTSMA competition in April.

Liberty High School

Senior Andie Moon said she first got into sports medicine after injuring her shoulder. “I became very interested in the way the body moves and functions, particularly through the skeletal and muscular systems,” Moon said. “Since my injury is unknown to the cause of pain and the mechanics of the pain, I went into a deep dive of research. I then was able to determine that I was passionate about it and decided to take the course provided at Liberty.”  

Senior Emma Mattson shared that she tried sports medicine because she loves learning about anything related to the medical profession and found the class curriculum really exciting.  

“I love the structure of how we learn, and the community of people is so fun to be around,” Mattson said. “It is a super interesting course. People often say it’s a lot of memorizing and can be challenging, but (our teacher Morten Orren) is the best and is really good at teaching and helping you to understand. Also shadowing Mort and going to games for sports med, while it can be long, is super fun and informative.”  

Senior Ryan Riem said he had been interested in medicine for quite a long time, so when he saw that Liberty offered a Sports Medicine class, he knew that he had to take it. I took the Intro class my junior year then went on to the Advanced class senior year. 

“I love the curriculum and all the content that you won't find in any other class/elective. I love to be able to be in a class with other people with similar interests. The internship is also really fun and gives a lot of experience in the field,” Riem said. “I really think this is an amazing program and opportunity for anyone that has even an inkling of interest for anything medicine, anatomy, physiology, or first aid related.” 

Junior Stella Kirilenko said she first heard about sports medicine when her older brother took the class at Liberty. “One of my favorite parts of learning about sports medicine is that, as an athlete, I have the knowledge to help prevent my own injuries and to keep my teammates and I healthy,” Kirilenko said. 

Like other students, she also mentioned that one of her favorite things about the program is the tight-knit community of students who participate. 

“The Sports Medicine program is so incredible, and I think a lot of what is done behind the scenes is easy to dismiss,” she said. “The opportunity to go to the state competition is truly a blessing and there are so many benefits to going. The real-life experience and the new people you get to meet has to be the best part of the competition for me personally.” 


Liberty High School's sports medicine team at the WCTSMA competition in Spokane in April


Skyline High School

Senior Jessie Chen from Skyline’s CLUBMED shared about their participation in the Washington Health Occupations Students of America’s State Leadership Conference in Spokane in March. 

“Skyline’s HOSA Chapter was honored as one of 14 founding chapters as WA HOSA celebrates its 10th anniversary this year,” Chen said. “During the conference, delegates participated in a variety of workshops held by experts in a diverse range of healthcare fields, networked with fellow delegates interested in becoming future health professionals, and competed in various events.” 

During the closing award ceremony, numerous Skyline delegates received awards and recognitions for placing in the top five in their events and for their continued health-related service and volunteering. Additionally, junior Adi Arora was elected to serve on the 2023-2024 WA HOSA Executive Board as Secretary, representing Skyline’s first WA HOSA state officer. 

Skyline's HOSA team at the leadership conference in Spokane in March