Racquetball team to train with US Olympic Training Center


PUEBLO – The national powerhouse club racquetball team at Colorado State University-Pueblo will partner with the United States Olympic Training Center (USOTC) to provide annual strength and conditioning to racquetball players as well as the benefit of paying in-state tuition.   

The proposal for CSU-Pueblo’s inclusion in this training program was submitted to the USOTC by USA Racquetball.  The proposal describes the achievements of the Club in both collegiate and Pan American, world competition, and requests physical and conditioning sport-specific services from the USOTC. The racquetball team will make at least annual visits to the USOTC to focus on strength and conditioning, and USOTC staff will work with CSU-Pueblo staff to develop the best possible strength and conditioning plan for the athletes. 
CSU-Pueblo racquetball player Felipe Camacho (senior, industrial engineering, San Jose, Costa Rica) receives instruction from Exercise Science, Health Promotion, and Recreation Adjunct Faculty Member Mike McFadden as teammate Brad Shopieray looks on. The ThunderWolves racquetball team will receive annual strength and conditioning training among other benefits through the USOTC.

According to Dr. Richard Krinsky, the long-time coach and sponsor of the Pack Racquetball Team, “The program is cooperative and requires that an on-campus physical trainer be assigned to our racquetball team. We’re pleased that Michael McFadden, an instructor in the Exercise Science Department, and the strength and conditioning instructor for our basketball teams, will be assisting in this capacity.”

Steve Czarnecki, executive director of USA Racquetball, was quoted in a 2013 Denver Post article as saying that CSU-Pueblo had the “finest competitive college racquetball program in the country.”  He noted that the CSU-Pueblo racquetball team had won 16 national championships and that its players may be the only ones in the country to receive scholarships.

The CSU-Pueblo men’s racquetball team has won 16 national men’s titles since 1996, including nine back-to-back titles from 2004-2012. The victories have come over major research institutions such as the University of Alabama, BYU, and Oregon State University, making the victories all the more impressive.  

“I don’t know of any other athletic program like this in the country. We have two of the highest athletic federations in a sport working together and supporting athletes who reside and train on a college campus,” Krinsky said. “This takes our program to a new level. Strength and conditioning protocols for each athlete in the program will be developed and monitored by trainers at both CSU-Pueblo and at the USOTC.”

Krinsky said the timing of the recognition comes at a good time as five seniors will graduate this spring requiring that significant recruiting be done before next fall.

“This program has a 20-year plus history, and I feel like we are at a new beginning,” he said.  “This really is a pretty exciting time for us.”

The Pack Racquetball Team will compete in the U.S. National Intercollegiate Championships on the campus of North Carolina State University March 11-15, 2014.  The Pack will then make its inaugural visit to the OTC on March 19.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.