New Athletic Trainer is “Living the Pedigree”


Emma Haag

Athletic trainer Kathryn Cleek tapes a student’s ankle before practice. Approximately five hours of Cleek’s day is designated for treating athletes with both short-and-long term injuries.

Emma Haag, Staff Writer

From taping what seems like an endless number of athletes’ injuries each day to staying late for Friday night football games, new athletic trainer Kathryn Cleek has brought her medical training expertise to campus, sharpening the Bulldogs’ competitive edge.

Cleek graduated from Indiana State University with a bachelor’s degree in athletic training and later got her master’s degree at Concordia University in athletic administration and coaching. As the current athletic trainer, she is responsible for the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries to all athletes.

“So far, the school year has gone great. We’ve had great success thus far with all of our fall sports as cross country, tennis and football are all in CIF,” Cleek said. “All of the coaches, staff and athletes have been great with welcoming me into the new position.”

The importance of an athletic trainer cannot be ignored. Studies by the American Academy of Pediatrics have shown that the likelihood of re-injuries to athletes at high schools with athletic trainers average 3%, while schools without athletic trainers have an inordinate re-injury rate as high as 60%.

Cleek has worked in numerous settings such as in high schools, club soccer programs, a physical therapy clinic, unserved rehab clinics. She also interned with Indiana State University football, cross country, soccer and track and field as an athletic trainer.

Intern trainer Kelle Fiske, who works with Cleek to treat injured athletes speaks very highly of her mentor.

“[Cleek’s] knowledgeable. She is very well rounded in all areas and has a great background for the job,” Fiske said.

Fiske is not the only one that thinks well of Cleek. From students with short-term to long-term injuries, Cleek is adored by many.

“Every week I come into the athletic trainer’s office and work on my rehab to get stronger. If I am doing an exercise incorrectly, [Cleek] will tell me so I can make sure I exercise the correct part of my body to get back to basketball faster,” varsity basketball player and junior Lauren Shiihara said. “She is always concerned about people with injuries and handles everyone with care.”