Liana Susott

September Comeback Athlete of the Month 2018

Our Comeback Athletes are individuals that have had an injury, gone through the necessary recovery and have 'comeback' to play sports again. They have utilized one of our AMP physicians: Dr. Bentley, Dr. Elliott, Dr. Klepps, Dr. Phipps or Dr. Shenton, and used one of AMP's owning partners for some or all of their procedures or recovery: St. Vincent Healthcare, Ortho Montana and Yellowstone Surgery Center.

Injuries / Doctors

AGE 16 (11th Grade): Roundup High School

  • Injury: Torn ACL, left knee
  • Doctor: David Shenton, MD
  • Timeline: Happened during Basketball tournament. Liana was out for the rest of the tournament and for the volleyball season. Again when the spring sports season came around, she had been cleared to run track, which included the 400, 800 and the long distance runs.
    Note: This was when the girls’ basketball season was in the fall, and volleyball season was in the winter. There was no cross country offered at that time.
  • Looking back, her thoughts: Having had gone through this injury once before, Liana knew what to expect with the recovery. She was able to handle it, emotionally and mentally, much better this time around.

AGE 14 (9th Grade): Roundup High School

  • Injury: Torn ACL, right knee
  • Doctor: Richard Lewallen, MD - (Now retired)
  • Timeline: Liana tore her ACL during the basketball season. She was out for the remainder of basketball season and the volleyball season. When spring came, she was cleared to run track, which helped her stay in shape for when basketball season came around again. She participated in the 400, 800 and the long distance runs.
    Note: This was when the girls’ basketball season was in the fall, and volleyball season was in the winter. There was no cross country offered at her school at that time.
  • Looking back, her thoughts: Liana really struggled mentally with the injury and trying to come back. It was much more difficult than she had anticipated, and wished there was counseling for athletes going through these sort of injuries. Looking back, she knows it was just a small amount of time, but going through it, it seemed like her whole world had fallen apart. She acknowledges that so much of one’s identity at that age is wrapped up in the sports and activities you are involved in, and to have that taken away was difficult for her young mind to understand.

Fully recovered and back to sports

  • College: Liana’s twin sister, Sarah, was running for the MSUB Cross Country team. One year they needed an extra runner, so she joined the team for that one year. Although she had been running since she was little, it wasn’t until her college years that she finally started to ‘enjoy’ running.
  • After College: Liana’s sister kept her interested in running but signing up for different local races like the Heart and Sole Run, Women’s Run, and the 1/2 and full marathon races for Big Sky State Games. Eventually she got to where she would want to do one big race at least once a year. Liana often travels with her sister for Sarah’s big races, there to support, and to run in the additional races they may have, like a 5K, or a trail run in Hawaii.
  • Now: Her goal is to be active and healthy. Liana enjoys running in downtown Billings a few times a week during her lunch hour, and takes a spinning class at the YMCA during her other lunch hours. In recent years, she has really started to enjoy trail running, and you can often find her at Dover Park. She continues to participate in the local races and to travel for a race at least once a year, usually with her sister.

Final Thoughts / Employment

Liana’s history with sports has brought her to where she is today. She has been the Sports Director for Big Sky State Games for 15 years, having started there as an intern. BSSG falls under the umbrella company Montana Amateur Sports, which helps put on the following programs: Big Sky State Games, Shape Up Montana, Big Sky Fit Kids, Fit Kids Club, YES Cross Country Meet and helps facilitate the Heart and Sole Run.

Photo Credit: Alsa Photography

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