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Weightlifter earns athlete of the quarter

Capt. Rodrigo Ocampo, 4th Space Operations Squadron, is the Schriever Athlete of the First Quarter.

Capt. Rodrigo Ocampo, 4th Space Operations Squadron, is the Schriever Athlete of the First Quarter.

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Capt. Rodrigo Ocampo won his second consecutive Schriever Bench Press and Deadlift Competition title this January. The 5-foot-5, 138-pound athlete bench pressed 235 pounds and deadlifted 360 to win the competition handily.

But, success in the weight room only tells part of the story for Ocampo, who also completed Schriever's monthlong Lazyman Triathlon in less than two weeks.

"Ocampo is extremely fit," said Seth Cannello, Schriever Sports and Fitness director. "He also has an adventurous spirit and he participates in most of the fitness center's activities; he easily earned Schriever's Athlete of the First Quarter."

Besides performing his duties as an aerospace engineer for the 4th Space Operations Squadron and studying to earn a master's degree, the Colombia native is learning a third language [French]. He also taught himself to ski and he recently earned a running-coach certification.

"I pretty much get by on about six hours of sleep a night," Ocampo said. "I'm trying to improve in that regard though, because I know how important sleep is to recovery."

Ocampo doesn't plan to enter future weightlifting competitions besides those offered here, but he said weightlifting plays a vital role in his life.

"Weight training provides my fitness base," he said. "It's the one thing that keeps me in shape and from there, I can branch out into other activities. If I have the strength and a high metabolism then I can do things like rock climbing. I may not be the best rock climber but because I have that base strength I can take more time to find that next hold and remain on the wall for longer periods. Doing squats in the weight room provides strength to do long runs and sprints."

He became an advocate for natural running, in both style and equipment, after attending a running clinic here last year. Since then, he learned as much as possible about the natural-running and minimalist style and began the steps necessary to earn a coaching certification. As a result, he'll be eligible to teach running clinics and classes in the near future, but he says his still has a personal running goal left to attain.

"The Air Force changed the minimum time to attain a perfect score on the running portion of the fitness assessment a few years ago and I haven't been able to get a perfect score since then," he said. "But, after finishing the Lazyman Triathlon, I started a new concentrated running routine in preparation for my April 22 fitness assessment. I want that perfect score."

He also plans to enter more triathlons in the next few years.

"I don't think I have enough training time to attempt an Ironman triathlon, but I'll probably do more Olympic and sprint triathlons in the near future," he said.
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