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Get in the game UTRGV to host international racquetball tournament

Management sophomore Gilberto Villalobos (right) prepares to hit a forehand in his match against kinesiology junior Nelson de la Cruz last Thursday in the Health and Physical Education building II on the Edinburg campus. JESUS SANCHEZ/ THE RIDER

Kane Wasenlenchuk, the International Racquetball Tour No. 1 player, and Daniel De La Rosa, IRT No. 3 player, will participate in an international tournament hosted by the UTRGV Health and Kinesiology Club April 8-10.

The Daniel De La Rosa Pro-AM Internacional will be a tier 2 tournament. Matches will take place in the Wellness and Recreational Sports Complex and the Health and Physical Education building
II on the Edinburg campus.

Wasenlenchuk, a former Brownsville resident who now lives in Austin, and De La Rosa, of Chihuahua, Mexico, will greet the public April 9 at the UREC.

“Last March, we were able to host our first event with [UT Pan American],” said Aby Thottiyil, a UTPA alumnus and cohost of the international tournament.

“We were able to bring down the top eight professionals along with some of the professional athletes from Mexico.

… The whole point of this tournament is to attract the locals that are competing here. Last year, we had about 100 to 200 people compete and this year we’re hoping we get around the same.”

Wasenlenchuk won last year’s tournament.

The international tournament has more than $10,000 guaranteed as prize payout in the pro and open division entries, which are limited to 32 players.The pro division will pay all 16 players $150 to $2,500 and the open division $25-$500.

Amateur divisions will receive firstand second-place awards and some divisions will pay prize money as well.

The priority deadline for the international tournament was Sunday. Participants who still want to register will be charged a $10 late fee.

UTRGV students paid $25 each to enter the tournament for all amateur divisions.

The registration fee for the pro division was $99 and $54 for all other divisions, with the exception of the women’s singles ($59) and men’s doubles ($64). The fee for people under 18 was $25.
Zasha Romero, a Health and Human Performance assistant professor and adviser for the H&K Club, said UTRGV students can benefit from participating in the tournament.

“The main focus of us having these tournaments is to provide students that go through our classes, and have been in our classes before, some local competition, so they can have fun and so
they can see professional players play,” Romero said.

He said some of the money generated by the tournament will go to the H&K Club.

“The money that comes to the club members is used for travel and for expense coverage to go to national and state physical education and health conferences,” Romero said.

All participants will receive a souvenir bag with a Dri-FIT shirt, wristband and a raffle ticket for an autographed Daniel De La Rosa racquet.

The pro and open divisions start April 8 and the finals April 10. The other divisions’ singles matches start and finish on April 9 and all doubles matches take place April 10.

To register for the tournament, visit r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=16841.

For more information about the tournament, call Event Director JoAnna Reyes at (361) 510-1040. Admission is free.

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