MHS Staff Changes Include New Athletic Trainer

Caitlin Tarnowski starts her first year as the 2017-18 sports athletic trainer.

Caitlin Tarnowski starts her first year as the 2017-18 sports athletic trainer.

Alexis Naddy, Assistant Features Editor

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The start of fall sports was also the beginning of a new job at MHS for Athletic Trainer Caitlin Tarnowski.

  The 22-year-old new trainer replaced Kate Janoyev, who resigned from the position to focus on her growing family.  

  Tarnowski said “receiving [her] position at MHS is the best moment in [her] career so far.”

  She added since the start of college she has wanted to work at the high school level. Tarnowski majored in sports medicine and minored in psychology at Upper Iowa University and graduated this past May.  She also completed the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education program.

  “In your final year of the athletic training program, you must sit for a four-hour test called the Board of Certification Exam. This test is everything you have learned about athletic training the past four years of school,” she said.

  She also stated that many students spend months on end studying and preparing for the exam.

  Other than having the required credentials, she said she also believes she has a personality that is great for the job.

  “I have a positive attitude, and I strongly believe that one’s attitude can rub off on another person, so I always try to be positive no matter the situation,” she said.

  She first discovered she wanted to be an athletic trainer when she was in high school.

  “I decided that I didn’t want a career where I would have to sit behind a desk all day,” she said.

  An average day for this athletic trainer starts at the school around 2:00 p.m. and can potentially last until past 9:00 p.m., depending on when a game is completed.

  “After I prepare for the athletes to come in…, the afterschool rush is a little crazy,” Tarnowski said as she went over her day-to-day actions.

  Once she completes her afterschool rush, she spends much of her day at different practices, rotating through the various sports. If there’s a home game for a team, she is required to stay until the game is completed.

  “It is vital to have an athletic trainer [at the school],” said Natalie Randazzo, the head varsity cheerleading coach. “As a coach, I want my athletes to be 100 percent, and our priority is their health. An athletic trainer helps not only after the injury but aids in prevention methods.”

    Besides working with coaches and athletes, the athletic trainer also gets to work with students interested in field experience.  MHS offers a program each year that gives two students the opportunity to work alongside the athletic trainer in order to give them an idea of what it’s like on the job. This year, Carson Bernett, senior, and Sydney Szalinski, junior, were selected.

    “I like that I get to experience working with athletes and their injuries. I want to be an athletic trainer, so I like that I get the opportunity to work with athletes and [Tarnowski],” said Szalinski.

    “I look up to [Tarnowski] in many ways because she knows a lot about athletes and injuries. She knows how to handle any situation,” Szalinski continued. “Overall, [she] is a great athletic trainer and role model, and I’m really happy that I get to learn from her.”

  Tarnowksi said she loves her job, but it’s a good day when she doesn’t get any visits from student athletes.  

  “I like to say that if my day is boring, it’s a good day for the athletes,” she said. “It means that they are all staying healthy.”

  She also said the more athletes that stay ready to play and compete, the more she is reminded that she’s doing the right things the best way she can.

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MHS Staff Changes Include New Athletic Trainer