By Stephanie Stanavich
Youngstown State Respiratory Care Students competed in the National Sputum Bowl this month after winning the state competition earlier this summer.
The team was comprised of seniors Brendan Hardie, Kayce Miller, Joseph Costello and Alicia Baugh. The competition took place in San Antonio, Texas from Oct. 14-18.
The sputum bowl isn’t as visceral as it sounds, Costello said it’s an academic competition where students answer questions pertaining to the respiratory care profession.
Miller said they competed against eight Ohio teams in the state competition, and went undefeated. Twenty-four teams competed at nationals. They prepared for the competitions as a group.
“We were all a little bit nervous because this was something that we’ve never experienced before,” Miller said. “But we were also confident that we adequately knew the information necessary to succeed.”
YSU Professor Amanda Roby coached the team. Hardie said they couldn’t have gotten to the nationals without her.
“She assisted us in absolutely everything regarding these competitions, ranging from simple questions to fundraisers that were necessary to afford travel and expenses,” Hardie said.
They held pepperoni roll sales, raffles and restaurant takeovers to raise money for the trip.
When arriving in San Antonio, Texas, the team was ready for the challenges of Nationals.
“There were many events, lectures, tournaments and as a team we managed to advance to the third round,” Hardie said.
The Respiratory Care Students from YSU won the first two matches on the first day against Colorado and Kentucky. Unfortunately, on the second day, they lost against Missouri in a tie-breaker and to Colorado in the loser’s bracket in a sudden death tie-breaker.
Even though the team didn’t go as far as they hoped in Nationals, they are still fortunate for their experiences.
“As a group, we feel extremely fortunate to have been given this opportunity to represent Youngstown State University and the state of Ohio at the National-level competition against various schools across the entire nation,” Hardie said.
The team was able to broaden their knowledge for their major, meet with important figures in their field and network with other competing students.
“Our experience was tremendously positive, and our Sputum Bowl team is appreciative for the opportunities,” Hardie said.