Team CNMI vies for world champs slot


Team CNMI will be competing in the Trench Challenge in Guam in September this year to earn a ticket to the Obstacle Course Race World Championships.

The squad is made up of James Lee, Rodney Camacho, Ando Agulto, R.J. Aquino, and Joe Villacrusis and their preparations for the OCRWC qualifier set for Sept. 30 at the Guam International Raceway have started early this year.

“James (Lee) has been a regular at Trench Challenge, while some of us did it a few years ago, but only the recreational part of the race. This year, James and I put a team together to compete in the Trench Challenge event in the Elite Division. What this means is that if we rank in this event, we will qualify to compete in the OCWRC, which will be held in October in London,” Villacruis said.

“We have been training since the beginning of this year everyday, and most of the time, twice a day. Most of our training is conducted at Latte Built Gym starting at 5am,” he said.

Villacrusis added that part of their training is competing in local running events, including last month’s Saipan Marathon.

“Right now, we are working on the terrains on sand and up hills of Mt. Tapochau and the Navy Hill road from the Hyatt up to the baseball field,” the former CNMI National Basketball Team member.

While training, the group is also busy holding fundraisers. Last month, they did a fundraiser that was supported by the following companies: Tony Roma’s, Capricciosa, Great Harvest, Bubba Gump, Caravan, Cha Saipan, Sea Touch, Let’s Go Tours, SUP Saipan, Tribe Marianas, MARPAC, Jonny’s Bar & Grill, Monkey Biz Productions, and Salty Skin Pacific.

“We will have a couple more fundraisers to help with the cost to compete in both Trench Challenge and the OCRWC. We will be glad to represent the CNMI in the OCR. We believe this will help put CNMI on the map along with all the top athletes in the world. The CNMI has never had a representation in this event and we would like to be the first one to do it. We will need all the support we can get from businesses, government officials/offices, and the community,” Villacrusis said.

The organizers of OCRWC are excited to have Lee and his team join the event in October.

“The Trench Challenge is excited to have James Lee, our two-time (2017 & 2018) OCRWC qualifier return to Guam in September with Team CNMI to try and qualify for the 2019 Obstacle Course Race World Championships, which will be held in Kelvedon Hatch London, UK this October. The CNMI’s representation at OCRWC will make it 68. We look forward to him and his team earning their spots at the World Championships,” Trench Challenge race director Tom Akigami said.

To help the team or for more information, contact Villacrusis at 483-5638.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.
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