2020 Special Olympics Basketball Showcase

Contact: Peggy Johnson

Telephone: 719-587-7408

Email: pvjohnson@adams.edu

Date of Event: February 23rd, 2020 2pm

Location: Plachy Gym Adams State University Campus

             “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt”-Special Olympics Oath

 2020 Special Olympics Basketball Showcase

A unique and unforgettable experience!

Alamosa CO, February 23rd 2020–The 2020 Special Olympics Basketball Showcase will begin at 2:00pm in Plachy Gym, located next to Rex Field at Adams State University, Sunday afternoon, February 23. Aside from spreading awareness for the Special Olympics, this event will include a fundraiser where all donations will go to the local program in Alamosa towards supplies, equipment, and travel expenses needed throughout the year. The event will feature a thrilling modified basketball game played by the SLV Dust Devils.  The game will consist of 8 minute running clock quarters and each team on the court will be composed of three Special Olympians and two non-Special Olympians. Admission will be free for this event, although donations are greatly appreciated! Come show your support by bringing friends, family, and teammates to our 2020 Special Olympics Basketball Showcase for a unique and unforgettable experience.

We will also be holding a silent auction featuring ASU gear and other donated items from the community.  At halftime, there will be a performance from the ASU/Alamosa High School cheer team and donation cans will also be floating around the stands. The Antonito High School cheer squad will be helping get the crowd excited for both teams.

Adams State University has been working with events like this since the late 1990’s. The Kinesiology department has been able to use such programs as an educational resource for careers in the future by having students from the Event Management class (KIN 405) put on such events.

The Special Olympics is a program that is held year-round for individuals with intellectual disabilities. This program consists of sports training for specific sports such as basketball or track that will lead to a modified version of competition. Special Olympics was founded to give children or adults with an intellectual disability the opportunity to participate in competitive physical activity in a fun and safe way. We would love to see you there to cheer on our eager and hard-working Special Olympians.  If you have any questions about the 2020 Showcase or the SLV Special Olympics program please contact Peggy Johnson at 719-587-7408 or email at pvjohnson@adams.edu.

Coach Plut to lead US Lacrosse Level 1 and 2 Coaching Development Training

When it comes to the mantra of “Life in the Balance” Monica Plut knows it well. Plut is in her second season of guiding the Adams State University Women’s Lacrosse team and is a first year graduate student.
Plut joined Adams State in January of this year, becoming the new Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach for the Grizzlies. She decided to pursue her Masters degree this past summer in Applied Sport Psychology. She wears many hats one of which includes being a US Lacrosse Trainer.
This weekend Plut has the privilege of leading a US lacrosse level 1 and level 2 coaching development training to a national audience at the US lacrosse western regional conference in Las Vegas on Friday. As Plut says, “Grow the Game” and with the work she does both academically and as a coach, she lives by those words.

Guest Speaker on Physical Activity for Cancer Survivorship Nov. 13 6pm

Heather J. Leach, PhD from Colorado State University’s Cancer and Exercise program will be in Alamosa on November 13th at 6:00 p.m on Adams State University campus in Richardson Hall Auditorium. Dr. Leach will give a lecture entitled “Physical Activity for Cancer Survivorship” hosted by Adams State University Kinesiology department in Richardson Hall Auditorium. This discussion will cover the benefits of physical activity after cancer diagnosis, along with strategies to promote physical activity in cancer survivors.

Adams State Engages SLV Community in Cancer and Exercise Study

Students from Adams State University’s Kinesiology department have been applying their knowledge and working diligently to engage the San Luis Valley community over the past two years while assisting with the San Luis Valley Cancer and Exercise Study. The SLV Cancer and Exercise Study is an ongoing study at ASU led by Dr. Tracey Robinson and Peggy Johnson of ASU and Dr. Maureen Cooper of SLV Health, with support from SLV Health and the Colorado Cancer Coalition. This study seeks to improve the lives of those who have fought against cancer, and to teach about exercise, health eating, and to offer support to those afflicted. Participation in this program is being offered to any cancer survivor in the SLV including anyone who has been diagnosed with any type of cancer, is in any stage of cancer treatment, or is in recovery or remission.

Participants start out by taking several tests. These tests include a six-minute walk test to evaluate general cardiovascular health and aerobic capacity, a grip strength test to evaluate grip strength and muscular fitness, and a fitness age test consisting of smaller tests designed to evaluate specific key fitness aspects. These tests are used as a baseline to give participants a relative fitness or physiological age based on key factors such as: cardiovascular health, muscular fitness, flexibility and body composition. Alongside these physical tests, participants complete a questionnaire designed to determine their quality of life.

After this initial testing, participants are requested to attend three one-hour exercise sessions per week led by graduate student Alexis Colwell, along with senior undergraduate exercise science students. The exercise program continues for ten weeks, after which participants will be tested again comparing their new fitness age to their starting fitness age to better measure the positive effects of exercise on cancer survivors. This ten-week exercise intervention program is offered free to all cancer survivors who qualify.

A standard hour-long session at the Alamosa Family Rec Center consists of three primary aspects of focus, split into ten to twenty minute circuits with a light warm-up performed before starting the session. Each circuit focuses on a specific aspect of overall physical health. In the area of cardiovascular fitness participants are asked to walk, bike, use an elliptical trainer, rower, or whatever other physical exercise they feel comfortable with to help strengthen their cardiovascular health. For strength and muscular endurance training participants engage in a circuit style muscular training program that has them performing various activities to improve their muscular strength, such as bicep curls and sit-ups. Participants select their own desired weight or resistance for these activities and students from ASU actively participate in demonstration of proper technique and helping with exercise as needed. For flexibility everyone is brought together at the end of the time for ten minutes to engage in an active group stretching activity to improve flexibility. Though these activities are conducted in a group, each activity is tailored to every individual to better meet the unique health and fitness levels of each cancer survivor.

Alongside these standard sessions, alternative sessions that focus on different types of activity are also included. These fun and engaging activities include things such as beach ball volleyball, partner exercise activities, yoga, and line dancing.

Included with the exercise program are additional seminars provided by Adams State University and San Luis Valley Health. These include seminars on healthy eating and diet for those recovering from cancer, as well as cancer support groups.

Available to not just participants of the San Luis Valley Cancer and Exercise Study but to the greater community of the San Luis Valley guest speaker Heather J. Leach, PhD from Colorado State University’s Cancer and Exercise program will be in Alamosa on November 13th at 6:00 p.m. Dr. Leach will give a lecture entitled “Physical Activity for Cancer Survivorship” hosted by Adams State University Kinesiology department in Richardson Hall Auditorium. This discussion will cover the benefits of physical activity after cancer diagnosis, along with strategies to promote physical activity in cancer survivors.

Adams State University is actively seeking more participants for the San Luis Valley Cancer and Exercise Study for the upcoming year, and if you would like to participate in this study please contact Alexis Colwell via email at colwellak1@grizzlies.adams.edu or by phone at 303-547-6761.

Jamie McMullen

Recruiting Participants for Study On Strength Training with Recreational Climbers

Effects of a Supplemental Strength Training Intervention on Climbing Performance in Recreational Climbers

Chad Palmer, graduate student in Kinesiology (719-298-6337, chadpalmer@adams.edu)


Rock climbing is a young sport on the competitive scene. Due to the youth of the sport, there is insufficient research on the strength training needs for climbers, and researchers are calling for more research to be performed on the topic. The present study aims to implement a strength training program that focuses on the specific energy needs and muscles used during rock climbing performance.

The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of a sport specific supplemental strength training program on rock climbing performance in recreational climbers. A secondary purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between climbing performance factors and actual climbing performance. The factors that will be examined are grip strength and body composition, specifically lean mass, and strength to mass ratio.

This study will be examining recreational rock climbers defined as climbers with a minimal climbing age of six months and who climb a minimum of one to two times a week.

Pre-testing and post-testing will be conducted through three appointments. The first appointment will be used for the climbing assessment, the second will be used for the 1RM pull-up test and measuring grip strength using hand grip dynamometry, and a third appointment will be used to measure body composition using a hydrostatic weighing tank.

Participants in the present study will be encouraged to maintain their current level of climbing in addition to performing an eight week strength training intervention. The strength training intervention will require two sessions per week of supervised strength training exercises. The experimental group will be given sport specific strength training exercises while the control group will receive general strength training exercises. The experimental and control groups will be randomly selected.

In addition to receiving supervised strength training session, participants in this study will experience other benefits. Through participation in this study, participants will have their body composition measured which will allow them to know their body fat percentage and strength to mass ratio in relation to the strength tests that participants will undergo as well. Participants may experience an increase in their climbing performance as a result of participation in this study. Participation in this study will assist the researcher in examining the strength training needs of rock climbers, and help with the development of standardized strength training protocols.



Students Present at and Attend Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (RMACSM) Conference

The Adams State University Human Performance and Physical Education (HPPE) department travelled to Denver, amidst a snowy forecast in early March for the regional exercise science annual conference.  The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (RMACSM) conference was held at Metro State University of Denver March 1st and 2nd.   The conference was attended by universities across Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico to showcase recent research with a handful of keynote speakers discussing all things exercise science and human performance related.

There were great speaker presentations on both days including Dr. Dave Hydock, an ASU alumni, who talked about the future of cancer drug treatment research related to the benefits of exercise which is ongoing at the University of Northern Colorado.  For now, this research is being conducted on rats with the hopes to move to human subjects.  The keynote speaker was Dr. Len Kravitz from the University of New Mexico.  Dr. Kravitz talked about a hot topic in the fitness industry, high intensity interval training, aka HIIT, and the different methods that have been studied which are being utilized by world-class athletes everywhere to improve fitness.  Another speaker in attendance was Max Schmarzo who works for a Denver training facility called Strong by Science.  His talk had a science base, but he moved into how he works every day to make what is learned in the classroom very applicable to athletes.  As a certified strength and conditioning coach working with some of the amazing professional and college athletes across Colorado, Max expressed in his talk how proud he was to utilize science and the newest research in order to get the best training possible for those athletes.

Led by professors of HPPE, Dr. Tracey Robinson and Maria Martinez, a group of 25 ASU students from HPPE attended the conference together.  Ten of the 25 students were in the HPPE graduate program, and five were first-year undergraduate students.  This was the largest group from the department to attend the RMACSM conference in years and the students represented ASU well.

Four graduate students were able to present their research while at the conference.  The presented research from the universities in attendance showcased the variety of work in this field ranging from police officer strength training programs to the effect of a chemotherapy drug during exercise on rats.  Each presenter created a poster that was judged by either members of the RMACSM board or professors from the different universities.

HPPE graduate students presented three posters: David Sheppard presented his thesis research titled “Variations on Wingate load to optimize peak power output in NCAA II collegiate athletes”.  Danielle Smith was also able to present her thesis research, “Effect of an 8-week supervised, physical activity program on cancer survivor’s health, fitness, and QOL”. Alexis Colwell and Shelby McBain presented research from an ongoing study in the HPPE department, “Effect of a physical activity intervention on fitness and quality of life in cancer survivors”.  All the ASU posters generated questions from the conference attendees and were well received.

Raven Langosh Coaches National Powerlifting Champion

Raven Langosh is a recent graduate from Adams State University, having earned a B.S. in Exercise Science as a student in Human Performance and Physical Education. During Raven’s last year as an undergraduate at Adams, Raven also coached local athletes in the sport of powerlifting.

In her first coaching season, Raven helped one of her athletes to a national championship title. Competing in the United States Powerlifting Association 2018 Drug Tested IPL World Championships, Santana Sandoval won the 15-19 age group Raw category 52 kg weight class while under Raven’s direction.

Raven was first introduced to the sport of powerlifting as a competitor in 2016. Since then, her interest in the sport and in its relationship with her studies in exercise science has grown, leading to her recent explorations in coaching. Raven cited course work in Biomechanics, Kinesiology, Methods of Coaching, Sport Psychology, Sport Nutrition, Strength and Conditioning and many others as resources for her as a coach.

One incident in which Raven says she drew heavily upon her Sport Psychology and Methods of Coaching courses was at the USPA Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada. Raven said that her athlete, Santana, had failed on two of the three attempts for one of the required competition lifts. As Raven could see Santana becoming anxious and agitated, she decided to model calm behavior for the athlete, and to help direct Santana’s attention to what was important in completing the lift. On her third and final attempt, Santana completed the lift successfully, securing her national title.

Throughout the training season, Raven said that her studies in Sport Nutrition were extremely helpful. In powerlifting, athletes have sometimes been known to engage in unhealthy dieting and calorie restriction due to weight class regulations and the desire to maintain a certain body composition. Raven wanted her athletes to avoid unhealthy eating habits, and used her knowledge of sport nutrition to create balanced diet plans that provided the athletes with enough nutrients. She believes that being able to maintain a healthy and balanced diet throughout the season greatly added to her athletes’ success.

After a successful first year, Raven will continue to coach athletes in powerlifting. She also plans to attend graduate school, studying to be a physical therapist.

Raven Langosh, far right, and athlete Santana Sandoval, second from right

Author: Brian Glassey, Applied Sport Psychology graduate student