PULLMAN, Wash.Washington State University veterinary students recently brought home the 2005 gold medal for overall team competition in the national Veterinary School Olympics.

“I’ve been a judge at this competition before,” said Gil Burns, associate dean for academics and student affairs in the college. “Each year this serves as an objective indication of the high quality and competence of WSU veterinary students.  Frankly, we’re not surprised when our students do so well.

“It’s also great fun and a welcome release mentally and physically for students in this very tough, professional curriculum.”

The annual event sponsored by the Student Chapters of the American Veterinary Medical Association invites all of North America’s 32 accredited veterinary colleges to send students for competition against each other as individuals and teams. The competition involves both mind and muscle in a number of academic and athletic competitions. 

This year, WSU veterinary students raised funds and sent 49 of their classmates to the competition held in mid-March at Texas A&M University.  As a university, WSU brought home the gold surpassing all other veterinary colleges in combined scoring.

A team of WSU students won first place in the equine dentistry competition.  Team members included Dora Reeves, Kurt Selberg, and Kevin Ballard.  Ballard also won third place as an individual in the same category.

In the microbiology/parasitology competition, WSU team members Noelani Reinker and Maren Connolly placed second as a team with Connolly placing first individually.

Exotic animal radiology team members Shea Miller and Geoff Goebel placed second as a team.

Hattie Kugler and Chadwick Hunt placed individually second and third respectively in the freshman veterinary anatomy competition.

In the research competition, Holly Alhgrim was awarded fourth place.

Two WSU students, Hailey Gentile and Geoff Goebel placed second in the recreational sports-darts competition.

“We couldn’t be prouder of our students even without this competition,” said Warwick Bayly, dean of the college, and a fixture at WSU Cougar athletic events.  “Collectively they are fine young adults by any measure.  It provides tangible proof of the effort our students and faculty put into the DVM curriculum. But I love it especially when WSU wins any competition.”