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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

New Respiratory Therapy Program Brings Home the Win

May 23, 2013

WinnersDoubters and nay-sayers step aside. Temecula’s Pink Puffers showed ‘em all how the new kids on the RT block can sweep up in competition. Last week our Temecula campus sent two teams of 3-students to the statewide Sputum Bowl conference in San Diego where they competed against 22 other teams – including SJVC Rancho Cucamonga’s Premature Buzzers – to bring home the championship win.

“It is an amazing feat for a young RT program that has yet to have any graduates!” enthuses Robyn Whiles, Temecula Campus Director. “It says millions about the rigors and quality of our program.”

The Bowl’s Jeopardy-style rounds ask questions in varying degrees of difficulty about RT industry theories, disciplines and practices.  Two days and 10-hours of heated buzzer-slams resulted in intense playoffs among the four remaining teams: SJVC-Temecula vs. Mt. Sac and SJVC-Rancho Cucamonga vs. Crafton Hills. First-round playoffs saw Rancho Cucamonga and Mt. Sac slide away. Temecula’s Pink Puffers then threw down with the Crafton Hills’ Peep of 4 to bring home the win.

The winning Puffers Cheryl Stansbury, Alyssa Reber and Anthony Cocilova came in 3rd when they competed in the Regional competition in April (Rancho Cucamonga’s Buzzers came in 2nd). Their coach and SJVC faculty member, Shannon Cocilova, has been working with the determined team for several months in preparation to move through the competition and take the title.

The big finale to Respiratory Therapy’s Sputum Bowl Competition is looming. The nationwide competition will pit state winners against each other to take the national title. But, there is at least one more recently converted fan rooting for the Puffers. Rancho Cucamonga RT Program Director, Ricardo Guzman, weighs in with a message to Temecula Campus Director, Robyn Whiles: “Your young students showed heart and courage, and placed themselves on the RT map,” says Guzman. “And, they get to represent the entire state and all of SJVC at the National Competition in Anaheim in November.”

Ricardo Guzman’s comments reflect the pride we all take in the accomplishments of all three of our competing teams. Also from Temecula, the Blue Bloaters: Jig Paten, Ian Peterson, Brittany Rubiano, Desiree Trejo and Team Coach, Shannon Cocilova. And from Rancho Cucamonga, the Premature Buzzers: Weston Taylor, Anthony Covarrubias, Seth Winetrout, Christopher Shannon and Team Coach, Grey Benton.

Having won a seat at the National Competition, the Pink Puffers are back in training and dreaming about bringing home the Big Prize. They have lots of supporters. “Now everyone knows what we already knew,” says Guzman. “SJVC Temecula Rocks!”

Guzman’s support does have its limits, however. “We are all very proud of you,” he says. “But watch out next year; we’re coming for you!”