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Year in review: 4th SOPS wins decade's final Commander's Cup

Intramural softball

Robert Kyner, 4th Space Operations Squadron, prepares to throw a ball to the pitcher during the annual intramural softball championship game at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Aug. 1, 2019. The 4th SOPS defeated the 2nd SOPS, 50th Operations Support Squadron and 50th Security Forces Squadron to play in the championships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Halle Thornton)

Intramural softball

The 1st Space Operations Squadron defeated the 4th SOPS during the annual intramural softball championship game at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Aug. 1, 2019. Both 1st and 4th SOPS defeated the 50th Security Forces Squadron to advance to the championship games. (U.S. Air Force photo by Halle Thornton)

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Michael Horvat with the 2nd Space Operations Squadron attempts to hit the ball past Scott Erway with the 22nd Space Operations Squadron during the 2019 intramural volleyball championship game at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, April 18, 2019. Intramural sports increase unit and base camaraderie, reduces work stress and emphasizes teamwork. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert)

Peter Aronson, 19th Space Operations Squadron, runs alone with the prisoners of war and missing in action flag during the POW/MIA run at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. The flag was continuously carried for a full 24-hour period, even during the late night and early morning hours, symbolizing Schriever's dedication to honoring POW/MIA service members.(U.S. Air Force Photo/Dennis Rogers)

Peter Aronson, 19th Space Operations Squadron, runs alone with the prisoners of war and missing in action flag during the POW/MIA run at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. The flag was continuously carried for a full 24-hour period, even during the late night and early morning hours, symbolizing Schriever's dedication to honoring POW/MIA service members.(U.S. Air Force Photo/Dennis Rogers)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

Commander’s Cup 2019

Team Schriever athletes boasted their athletic prowess throughout the year in numerous competitions.

More than 15 events, consisting of team sports and individual events, highlighted the 2018-19 season of sports at Schriever Air Force Base.

While 50th Operations Support Squadron ran away with the cup in 2018, 4th Space Operations Squadron nabbed the crown in 2019 after finishing second the year prior.

Though 4th SOPS finished as runners-up in three of the four intramural events, they still earned 20 more points than the next closest team, 50th OSS.

Here are the top-five finishers from 2019 Commander’s Cup:

 

1) 4th Space Operations, 1,315 points

2) 50th Operation Support Squadron, 1,295 points

3) 2nd Space Operations, 1,175 points

4) 50th Security Forces Squadron 1,015 points

5) 1st Space Operations, 945 points

 

Fitness center events:

This year the fitness center held 12 events for Schriever athletes with the Lazyman Triathlon fielding the most teams. The event, which participants ran 26.2 miles, swam 2.4 miles and rode 112 miles on a bike, had 33 teams compete.

The triathlon, which took place in February, had two members of 19th SOPS place first and second place. Master Sgt. Peter Aronson, 14th Test Squadron superintendent, finished first in the event and gained 50 points while 19th SOPS Capt. Lauren Levy earned 40 points for her second-place finish.

Aronson also finished first last year and broke the previous record with his time of 19 hours, 45 minutes. Lt. Col. James Hogan, 7th Space Operations Squadron commander, placed third to earn 30 points.  

Since weather in February is frigid, participants could complete the event in the fitness center or off base at another gym.

This was just his second time competing in the event. When Aronson did the Lazyman Triathlon in 2018, it was his first time doing so. In his numerous years of training, though, he’s developed a sharp focus to help accomplish his goals.

“Over time, I’ve developed a ‘never give up’ mentality,” Aronson said. “Most endurance runners will agree that training will only take you so far. You will eventually hit the wall and want to quit. You will need to find a way to push through that barrier and keep going until you finish what you intended to do.”

“I’ve failed enough to know what works for me,” he said. “I’ve learned pain is temporary, but quitting is permanent. I try to incorporate that theme everywhere in my life.”

Intramurals:

Despite having a stellar season in intramurals and making it to three of four championships, 4th SOPS took home second in all their trips to the title game.

In basketball, 4th SOPS was bested by the 50th Space Wing, in softball, 1st SOPS earned the win and in flag football, 50th OSS took home the crown.

The 14-7 victory against 4th SOPS paved the way for 1st SOPS to three-peat as champions and end the decade with the crown in flag football.

On the diamond, however, 1st SOPS earned a convincing 16-3 victory over 4th SOPS to capture the softball title.

The 50th Space Wing’s only title of 2019 came in basketball. They upended 4th SOPS in the championship game to walk away with first place.   

In volleyball, 2nd SOPS took two out of three sets to earn the victory for the title and mounted a fierce comeback. They lost the set 25-20 to tie the match at one set apiece, but that put them in the right head space to win the match.

“We were down in the second match 11-0, and I just kept telling our team to keep battling, make a run and gain momentum and confidence,” said Korey Kuykendall, 2nd SOPS resource advisor. “We ended up coming back to lose 25-20, but we took that momentum into the third game and jumped out to an 8-3 lead.”  

Second Lt. Idali Beltre-Acevedo and Halle Thornton contributed to this article.

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