Wittenberg Alumni Kick Off Homecoming With Inaugural Tiger Tri
Springfield, Ohio – As the cool temps of autumn usher in Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 21-22, Wittenberg alumni from all generations will come together to kick-off a range of activites. For one alumnus, Timothy Kremchek ‘81, an orthopedic surgeon with Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of the Greater Cincinnati Area, the weekend offers a chance to inspire healthy living and fun during the first-ever Wittenberg Tiger Tri, the brainchild of 1995 alumna Jade Spicer Gianakopoulos, who worked with Kremchek to take the lead in sponsoring the event.
A tri-athlete herself, Giankopoulos decided that a triathlon would be the perfect way to raise money for The Wittenberg Guild Scholarship Fund, which helps local students attend Wittenberg. More than 130 athletes have already signed up to participate, and Giankopoulos was pleased that Kremchek agreed to be the title sponsor.
“Anne Georges (director of leadership giving) and I were talking about how to give back to the university, and she mentioned the immediate need for a title sponsor for the Homecoming triathlon,” explained the 1981 Wittenberg grad. “It is a perfect way for Beacon Othopaedics and me to support the university. I love Witt – every time I go up there (to Wittenberg), I feel a tremendous sense of pride. I have friends and connections from my years as a student.”
Dr. Kremchek is a regular on campus – he serves as Wittenberg athletics teams’ physician, and admits that he enjoys being a mentor to the students and can fully relate to their experience – as student athletes, scholars and growing through Wittenberg’s values and traditions as “they develop who they are going to be.
“I chose Wittenberg for several reasons when I was looking at colleges,” Dr. Kremchek said. “It was close to home, but not too close, it had a strong athletics program and a strong academic reputation. It was a comfortable size for me, familiar. I didn’t know I wanted to be a doctor, but I did know I wanted to play sports. I played football my freshman year and baseball all four years.” Dr. Kremchek wore #15 and was both a designated hitter and first baseman for the Tigers, and he lettered his senior year.
“Division III provides a healthy balance between academics and sports,” Dr. Kremchek said. “It brings together a strong competitive playing field without the pressure and the support to excel in the classroom. Kids call, they know I love sports, and they know I’ve done it all. I believe it’s important to excel in life, and participating in athletics teaches you to be competitive individually and to be a team player.”
A true mentor, both he and his wife, Hillary Knapp, Wittenberg class of 1982, work to promote good health through activity.
“Hillary was a great athlete in college,” he said. “She keeps in shape and believes in the value of a healthy life style.”
Dr. Kremchek has seen the growth of personal training that emphasizes enhanced total-body, or core, training.
“Some feel that lifting weights never did anything, but weight training develops total body strength and improves coordination,” Dr. Kremchek said. “If you play one position, switch conditioning in order to decrease your chance of getting hurt, and you can play more than one position.”
The value of proper conditioning is so important to Dr. Kremchek that he is taking the lead on upgrading the training room at Wittenberg. The process of pricing two scenarios of renovations has begun, and there is no doubt that future athletes at Wittenberg will benefit from his generosity and expertise.
The medical director and chief orthopaedic surgeon for the Cincinnati Reds and their minor league affiliates, has become a leader in the orthopaedic care of athletes across the country, Kremchek will miss his 30th college reunion Homecoming due to professional commitments, but he will be there in spirit.
His professional interests range from advanced arthroscopic repair of the shoulder and knee injuries to total joint reconstructions and joint replacements. He has taken an active role in teaching orthopaedics and sports medicine, which has enabled him to be published in professional journals regarding orthopaedics and sports medicine. Kremchek has been featured on HBO’s Real Sports program regarding youth baseball injuries. He has also been featured in ESPN Magazine, Sports Illustrated and USA Today regarding other medical health topics.
In addition to Wittenberg, Kremchek is also the orthopaedist for Cincinnati’s Archbishop Moeller High School. A 1986 graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Kremchek completed his orthopaedic residency at Tufts University in Boston, Ma. In 1993, he completed a one year Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Fellowship at the Alabama Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Ala.
The triathlon begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at the HPER Center, 250 Bill Edwards Drive. Ascension Sports Partners, Alpert Barr & Grant and The Fitness Cellar are supporting the event, which is open to the general public, and first-time triathletes are encouraged to register. Participants can either complete the race on their own, or they can compete as a member of a team.
Written By: Phyllis Eberts