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2015 in Review: New teams, familiar individuals top competitions

Eric Lewandowski, left, and John Thien, United States Air Force Warfare Center, go up for a block during the intramural volleyball championship game Thursday in the fitness center gym at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo. USAFWC defeated the 6th Space Operations Squadron 25-20 and 25-22 to win the title. (U.S. Air Force photo/Christopher DeWitt)

Eric Lewandowski, left, and John Thien, United States Air Force Warfare Center, go up for a block during the intramural volleyball championship game Thursday in the fitness center gym at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo. USAFWC defeated the 6th Space Operations Squadron 25-20 and 25-22 to win the title. (U.S. Air Force photo/Christopher DeWitt)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The more things change, the more they stay the same. While 2015 saw new champions crowned for Schriever Air Force Base intramural team sports, many individual event winners were able to repeat, or six-peat in one case.

The Space Innovation and Development Center capped an undefeated season as it took down defending champion 3rd Space Operations Squadron, 54-44, for the basketball championship.  The second half belonged almost entirely to SIDC as they held 3 SOPS, playing in its fourth straight championship game, to just nine points through 15 minutes.

After falling just short in 2014, the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center defeated the 6th Space Operations Squadron in straight sets to claim the volleyball title. 6 SOPS rallied from 10- and 8-point deficits in the first and second sets, respectively, but USAFWC was able to hold on both times and end the sixth-seeded 6 SOPS's Cinderella run through the postseason.

On the diamond, 3 SOPS scored 19 runs on 18 hits to claim the softball championship with a 19-7 victory over the 50th Security Forces Squadron. After overcoming a slow start to the season, 3 SOPS rolled to a 13-4 regular season record, going 9-1 in the last 10, and the top seed in the postseason tournament.

The 4th Space Operations Squadron played a nearly perfect game during a 25-0 win against 50 SFS in the football title game. Quarterback Mike Owens was responsible for three of the four touchdowns for 4 SOPS as they avenged a 20-14 regular season loss to 50 SFS.

While change was the theme for team sports, consistency prevailed in many individual events.

Chantel Anderson and Shawn Koutsouros kicked off the year by winning the bench press and dead lift competition in January. Anderson reclaimed the title after finishing second in 2014 and Koutsouros was able to knock off two-time defending champion Rodrigo Ocampo.

On April 30, Sara Holman was named the 2014 Air Force Athlete of the Year for her accomplishments in the pool. In August, Holman traveled to Kazan, Russia with her twin sister, Mary, for the FINA Masters World Championship. The pair returned with a combined five medals and 12 top-10 finishes in seven events.

Despite a strong challenge from Justin Long and Chris Metzgar in 2014, Sam Bessinger proved once again that he was the man to beat in The Murph, winning his sixth straight title. Bessinger finished with a time of 23:29 (just 18 seconds shy of the base record he set in 2012) and more than five minutes in front of Long and Metzgar.

Prior to the event, Bessinger said 2015 would be the best chance for him to be dethroned as he'll shoot for a new base record if he's able to compete again next year.

The 2015-16 basketball season is already underway with 4 SOPS and USAFWC with 5-0 records at the holiday break.
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