In its fourth year, the AACI High School Championship was the largest competition ever. Over 3,500 students representing 300-plus schools. The competition is divided into three sections: Cramer (2000+ student population), Jaybird & Mais Division (1000-1999 students), and the Alert Services Division (8-999 students).
Damien, competing in the Alert Services Division, compiled a team score of 60.25. St. Francis High School (CA) placed first in the division (66.62), while Anthony High School (TX), East Valley Yakima (WA) and Spokane Valley Tech (WA) rounded out the top five. Based on overall team performance, Damien placed 25th in the nation among all team across all divisions.
Lili Gomez, a junior at St. Lucy’s Priory High School, led Damien by placing fifth in the nation earning All-America status. In 2016, Gomez’ brother, John, earned All-America honors. Overall, the team had six All-Americans. Earning honors were junior Alexa Olson (11th), senior Jack Mitchner (T-12th), junior Paige McCaslin (T-13th), senior Dylan Bender (T-17th) and junior Esteban Arroyo (19th). Also competing for Damien was senior Kaitlyn Parrish, and juniors Andrew Carrillo, Beau Ramirez and Elijah McCullough.
Teams were scored on written and practical exams with mock patients in subject areas such as First Aid, CPR, emergency procedures, medical terminology, legal issues, physiology, anatomy (legs, angle, lower leg) and evaluation. After scoring was completed on the written and practical exams, the top ten individual student finalists were administered a 30-minute video practical. The video practical consisted of five applications of sports medicine skills that were graded by a certified Athletic Trainer with experience teaching at the high school level.