COALINGA – West Hills Community College Coalinga Athletic Trainer Tracey Jaurena was named Athletic Trainer of the Year by the California Community College Athletic Trainers’ Association and will be honored during a luncheon April 3.
Jaurena was nominated after responding to a medical incident during a WHCC basketball practice earlier this season. According to the incident report, the student stopped breathing during practice and was in a state of seizure. Jaurena responded accordingly and helped the student begin to breathe before the ambulance arrived.
“I am extremely grateful for the nomination, and it came as a complete surprise in a good way,” said Jaurena said. “I have kept in touch with the athlete and he will hopefully be back here playing basketball soon, which is more important than this honor of course. I am so blessed to have been given gifts to share with others. I am fortunate to be working in the same field that I went to school to learn, and I have loved it my entire career.”
Jaurena has been an athletic trainer at WHCC for 15 years and was nominated by Gritton and by Dennis Goebel, an athletic trainer at College of the Sequoias. Goebel heard about the incident and worked with Gritton to fill out the nomination.
“Tracey is being recognized for one incident that could have had a catastrophic and perhaps fatal outcome,” said Mark Gritton, athletic director and associate dean of students at WHCC. “Her experience and knowledge enabled her to act swiftly and effectively. I have been involved in teaching, coaching and administration in higher education for 30 years. She is the best I have ever been associated with. Her proactive approach to the prevention and care of athletic injuries goes way beyond most professionals in her field.”
Mark Arce, head basketball coach at WHCC, also had praise for Jaurena and how she handled the incident.
“I have had the opportunity to work with and observe athletic trainers from across the country during my coaching career,” Arce said. “Tracey is at the top of her field. It is comforting as a coach to know if something happens you have someone with Tracey’s expertise.”
Jaurena will be honored April 3 during the 17th annual California Community College Athletic Association Convention in Los Angeles.