The three students who won the Rocky Mountain ACSM student bowl pose for a photo.
Jessie Para, Austin Hallock and Michael Yagi won first place at the Rocky Mountain Regional American College of Sports Medicine student bowl and will head to nationals this May to represent the region.


Kinesiology students earn top honors

When most people think about swimming, images of hot summer days and floating lazily around a cool pool may come to mind. This is not the case for kinesiology students Shelbi Peters and Alex Hendricks. They think about how to cool a person’s body temperature before they enter a pool to improve swimming performance levels.

Their project, which centered on this thesis, was selected as one of the top projects at the Rocky Mountain Regional American College of Sports Medicine conference held in early April at the University of Northern Colorado.

“The other three girls in my group are swimmers and I grew up swimming, so that was a common interest,” said Peters. “There has also been a lot of previous research with precooling with land athletes, but very little research in water. We thought combining the two would make for an interesting project.”

Through their research project, these students were able to show that precooling a participant’s body temperature prior to exercise did have a significant effect on the core temperature of these swimmers during exercise, which resulted in a reduced energy expenditure.

The students will expand their research this spring with the possibility of presenting at the national conference in May 2018.

Exercise Physiology Club President Kelsey Miller also presented at the conference. Miller designed and conducted research on her own. For two weeks, she studied eight participants and the effects of sprint interval training.

The study conducted in the Monfort Family Human Performance Lab measured oxygen consumption, body composition, blood lactate levels and participant’s moods before and after.

“There were significant differences in blood lactate levels and waist circumference,” Miller said. She conducted the same research this past fall and was able to add the spring research to her data. “Getting hands-on experience at the lab gives you an edge.” An edge she will use after graduation when pursing her education further to become a physical therapist.

Eight other kinesiology students presented four research projects alongside about 100 other Colorado college and university undergraduates and graduates.

The conference also featured a Jeopardy-style bowl in which the CMU team including Austin Hallock, Michael Yagi and Jessie Para took first place. They will represent the rocky mountain region at nationals this May in Denver.

“The questions asked in the student bowl were meant to test our knowledge in exercise science,” Hallock said. “The questions asked included concepts from biomechanics, physiology, sports history, ACSM guidelines and nutrition.”

The CMU student bowl winners will be joined by three other kinesiology students at the national conference who will present their research, The effect of stride frequency on running economy in collegiate and recreational runners.

“These success stories are a great representation of the impact that the Monfort Family Human Performance Lab has on students and a tribute to the overall education they are receiving at Colorado Mesa University,” said Brent Alumbaugh, instructor of kinesiology and clinical coordinator and physiologist of Monfort Family Human Performance Lab. “These opportunities give our students an advantage when applying for jobs or graduate school as well as help contribute to academia by creating novel projects that help add insightful knowledge to existing research in the field of kinesiology.”

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