Elizabethton HOSA team secures victory, heads to Nationals

Published 1:11 pm Friday, May 10, 2024

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By Donna Campbell

Star Correspondent

The HOSA leadership team from Elizabethton High School recently beat the buzzer and all their challengers at the state SkillsUSA competition to earn a ticket to the nationals in June.

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Though it was their first time competing in the Health Knowledge Bowl, seniors Lindy Simerly and Hannah McCoy, junior Jocelin Julian and sophomore Taylor Whitson led their team to victory in Chattanooga through great teamwork and preparation.

To get the win, the team competed in a two-part challenge, said team sponsor Katie Dugger. She and Lauren Meier served as a resource for the girls as they studied for the health sciences competition which tested students’ knowledge of anatomy and physiology, medical math, disease processes and medical terminology.

At the state contest, competitors completed a written exam before moving on to the action of a quiz bowl. Answering medical questions correctly was not the only challenge, Julian said. They also had to be the first to buzz in and even spell the answer.

Hitting the buzzer first was crucial.

“Sometimes we forgot to buzz even when we knew the answers,” she said. “Whoever knew it would usually just press it but sometimes we just forgot and started talking and laughing about it.”

“I would say there were a couple times that the other team beat us to the buzzer, but we came back by answering their missed questions correctly,” McCoy said.

Spelling out the answers added an extra degree of difficulty.

“The spelling aspect was definitely one of the more difficult parts. But spelling is crucial when it comes to the medical field,” Simerly said. “A simple change of a couple letters could give a word a whole different meaning so it is important for patients that we are able to spell these words correctly.”

Whitson enjoyed the action of the knowledge bowl much more than a written test.

“It was the thrill of hitting the buzzer and knowing the answer instead of sitting down and doing an exam,” she said.

She credited McCoy for giving them an edge after beating the other teams to the buzzer.

“Spelling wasn’t hard because Hannah is a genius when it comes to spelling,” she said.

Competing together helped create a bond for these four Elizabethton students.

“I wouldn’t have chosen any other teammates,” Simerly said. “We all get along and work really well together. I am very thankful to have such smart girls to work alongside, that are also very encouraging and uplifting.”

Julian agreed. “They are all so smart and fun to be around. We can never stop laughing when we’re all together,” she said.

 McCoy said the group plans to get together often over the next few weeks to grill each other on their medical know-how. They’ll review study guides online and meet for study dates leading up to the big event in Atlanta, Ga., at the end of the month.

The foursome divided the workload and topics to prepare individually as well.

“That’s so we could go more in depth in our studying with the goal that one of us will know the answer to each question,” Simerly said. “Since nationals is expected to be more difficult, we will definitely be putting more time into our studying and hopefully have more group study sessions.”