Sports & Outdoors

Logger athletes and athletic training staff share mutual appreciation

The Puget Sound training staff has the amazing task of taking care of every single varsity student athlete that walks into their respective field, course, track, or court. These amazing individuals are instrumental in preparing our athletes before the game and for taking care of them when something goes wrong. Head trainer Craig Bennett has been here since 2005 and he has already made a huge impact on the athletic community. He makes it a point to learn not just the names of the athletes who frequent the training room, but the names of everyone.

Craig said that the best part of the job for him is, “The environment we get to work in. The student athletes we have here, I brag about the student athletes here to other training staffs. Our student athletes are so respectful. Also we have an experienced and enthusiastic coaching staff to work with.”

Junior golfer Andy Bingle (Breckenridge, Colo.) said, “Well they are kind of like if your friends were able to help you out with all of your physical ailments. Craig always calls me by name and it’s nice to know someone so professional is there in case of even the smallest injuries. The training staff are like your mom away from mom to help you kiss the boo boo when you get off the court/ field/ course”.

Lisa Kenney has been at Puget Sound since 2007. As a trainier who travels with both the women’s lacrosse and the women’s soccer teams, she has been keeping herself busy. Lacrosse player Rachel Ivancie (Steamboat, Colo.) recalls, “Two years ago we were playing Redlands during spring break. It was a battle, so hot, and the last day of our trip! First time we ever beat them! Anyways, we had to catch a plane right after the game, we were so hungry and Lisa went to Chipotle for us, got the whole team food there, and held out on eating her burrito for an hour and a half as we sat in L.A. traffic because she was one of our drivers! That was nice of her!” As Lisa shows, sometimes trainers hold several duties when they travel with teams. They not only help when someone’s hurt, but they also help when coaches need a hand.

The most recent addition to the training trio is Stana Landon. Stana came to the University in 2008 and is a favorite of the women’s basketball team. Sophomore Women’s basketball player Kelsey McKinnis (Ashland, Ore.) said of the trainers “Well I feel really lucky that at this small of a school we have three awesome trainers that get to travel with us to all our away games and tournaments. Not only do we get amazing treatment on the road but we get to develop personal relationships with them as well. Women’s Basketball loves Stana!”

Stana agreed. When she was asked what her favorite part of the job is she answered, “The relationships we can build with the athletes”. She also said “The environment of the campus is really positive.”

The training staff has to deal with so many athletes whose needs range from a quick tape job to daily rehab. When I asked Craig which training room sport was his favorite he said “We don’t have one. It’s across the board. Our goal is that all the student athletes have the best experience they can. We definitely want them to feel that they are comfortable coming in here whether it’s a softball athlete to a golf athlete to a football athlete, each sport has different needs so we hope that we can meet all those needs equally and fairly.”

Senior football player Tyler Vlasak (Sumner, Wash.), has seen his fair share of injuries. He said, “In my four years here, I have found myself, on more than one occasion, entering the training room when not in need of treatment – no matter how much Craig hates it. I spent the summer football camp with Stana and showed Lisa how she is supposed to play Words With Friends…obviously talking a bit of trash all along the way. At the end of the day, however, their hilarious and welcoming personalities transform a place that most athletes try to avoid to an extremely welcoming and, dare I say it, fun place to be.”