Collin College Respiratory Care students Patrick Forsythe, Kebron Isayas, and Cesar Romero went undefeated en route to a National Sputum Bowl championship in early October in Indianapolis, Ind.

Organized in a quiz show format, Sputum Bowl is a respiratory care knowledge competition put on by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) to test student and practitioner knowledge on subjects including anatomy and physiology, diagnostics, pathology, mechanical ventilation, neonatal/pediatric care, airway management, pharmacology and more. Two teams of three face off and try to buzz in with correct answers before the other.

Collin College has a strong history in the Texas Sputum Bowl, a qualifier for nationals, taking first place in the state for the past six years. This year, the top two spots in Texas were taken by Collin College teams. The Collin team of Alexis Matthews, Cassie Morris and Cindy Zhang met with Forsythe, Isayas and Romero in the state finals, and ultimately competed as a “renegade” team at nationals as well.

Forsythe, Isayas and Romero could not be defeated, however, and ran the table in every state and national game they played. In round two of the national competition, Collin College even blanked a Kentucky renegade team 26-0.

“I couldn’t be more proud of us for spending countless hours in preparation, and thankful for the time invested by our instructors,” Isayas said. “It’s phenomenal that we’re going down as the first team from Collin College to win the national title and go undefeated in the process.”

Team coach Julie Boganwright said that at the national level, competition is impressive, with all the competitors well-prepared with respiratory care knowledge.

“Each game was intense to watch,” Boganwright said. “Sometimes it was just a matter of who could buzz in faster.”

Boganwright, who shares coaching duties with Angie Switzer, said that Sputum Bowl is a fun way for students to learn as they progress through the respiratory care program, but they take the competition seriously as well. Collin College student teams have placed third in national competition twice and a team made up of Boganwright, Switzer and Grant Pipes, a former student, won the practitioner national title in 2014.