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Year in Review: Fitness center upholds old traditions, introduces new traditions

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The United States Air Force Warfare Center attempts to hit the ball past the 2nd Space Operations Squadron during the 14th annual Schriever Intramural Volleyball Championship tournament at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, May 10, 2018. The USAWFC walked away with the win, and ended the tournament with a record of 6-3. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert)

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Airmen run with the POW/MIA flag in the early morning hours during a 24-hour run at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 19, 2018. Airmen from various squadrons continuously ran with the POW/MIA flag in 30 minute intervals, with more than 70 participants carrying the flag for a total of 120 miles. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert)

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Michael Kilbourne, left, shooting guard with the 50th Wing Staff Agencies, gets a shot off while guarded by Franklin Eason, right, with the 4th Space Operations Squadron, during the second half of the 2017-2018 Intramural Basketball Championship game at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Feb. 27, 2018. The 50th WSA won the game 44-41, earning the championship title. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher DeWitt)

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Pete Aronson with the 19th Space Operations Squadron runs in the Run for Aurora ultramarathon at Roxborough State Park, Colorado, June 2013. Aronson has raced in various ultramarathons, but the Lazyman Triathlon was his first triathlon-based event. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

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Veronica Leddy, formerly with the 50th Civil Engineering Squadron, and Nick Ruiz with the 50th Mission Support Group show off their Air Force Space Command running attire before the Air Force Marathon at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Sept. 15, 2018. Leddy finished the half marathon with a time of 1:43:40, and Ruiz finished with a time of 1:25:36, with AFSPC placing first among twelve teams in the Major Command Challenge. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

2018 Commander’s Cup:

Schriever athletes competed in a variety of sporting events in 2018, from a Lazyman Triathlon, where Airmen pursued their own fitness regimens, to archery tag, where foam-tipped arrows targeted opponents across the indoor running track.

New champions donned crowns as the 50th Operations Support Squadron led the competition for most of the year, coming out on top in both monthly events and intramurals, forcing old champions to relish in the glory days of 2017.

The final 2018 Commander’s Cup standings were as follows:

1. 50th Operations Support Squadron, 2,655 points

2. 4th Space Operations Squadron, 1,830 points

3. 50th Security Forces Squadron, 1,030 points

4. 50th Space Communication Squadron, 995 points

5. 1st Space Operations Squadron, 990 points

Fitness center events:

The fitness center hosted more than 12 athletic events for Airmen and their families to participate in, the Lazyman Triathlon being among the most popular.

Participants ran 26.2 miles, swam 2.4 miles and rode a distance of 112 miles on a bicycle during the month of February, in no particular order.

The triathlon’s process is based on the honor system, and the fitness center provided a tracker that allowed competitors to see how many miles or laps they completed.  

Due to the winter weather, participants were able to run or bicycle inside at the fitness center or their own gyms.

Pete Aronson with the 19th Space Operations Squadron, beat the previous Lazyman Triathlon record of finishing in three days, taking just 19 hours and 45 minutes during his inaugural involvement.

 “I read online that the average Ironman Triathlon time is between 11-15 hours, so I'm satisfied with my time considering I put in zero training and haven't swam in years,” he said.

The Archery Tag Tournament debuted this year, where participants teamed up and shot foam-tipped arrows, trying their best to eliminate all players on the opposing team.

Four squadrons participated in the event, with the Joint Force Space Component staff earning first place.

Intramurals:

The 50th Space Wing Wing Staff Agencies defeated reigning champion the 4th Space Operations Squadron, in the 2017-2018 Intramural Basketball Championship Feb. 27.

The 50th WSA was ready to redeem themselves after losing to the 4th SOPS in the semifinals last year.

The 50th WSA sealed their victory with a score of 44-41, holding onto the lead the entire game.

Michael Kilbourn, 50th WSA shooting guard, said the 50th WSA’s road to the championship was not easy, as their team was small however, they had seasoned veterans.

“It was a rollercoaster for our team, but overall, we had a strong regular season,” he said. “Like all teams, it took us a while to form and get there. It was a challenge because unlike your traditional sport seasons where you have practices, we just played the games.”

Beating the combined 6th Space Operations Squadron and 310th Space Wing team, the 22nd Space Operations Squadron earned the Intramural Volleyball Championship title May 16, wrapping up an undefeated season.

John Baldwin, 22nd SOPS team captain, has been playing volleyball for more than 40 years, and has played on the 22nd SOPS team since his arrival at Schriever AFB in 1999.

 

He said the team played well, and their mentality going into the championship game was to treat it like any other game.

 

“Although it was a championship game, it’s just volleyball,” he said. “If we lose we lose, and it’s been a great season. We went undefeated, and I had a really good supporting cast on this team.”

 Baldwin added during the entire season, up until the final three matches, the team was playing with only five players instead of six, and still managed to secure the undefeated title.

Special events:

Two Schriever Airmen were selected to compete in the 2018 United States Air Force marathon Sept. 15 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

 

U.S. Air Force Space Command finished first among twelve teams representing competing in the Major Command Challenge.  

 

Veronica Leddy, formerly with the 50th Civil Engineering Squadron, finished the half marathon with a time of 1:43:40, and said the experience was great.

 

“It’s so cool there is an opportunity to represent where you work to do something I love to do and be surrounded by other people doing the same thing from a similar military background,” she said. “Everyone I met was really nice and I had a lot of fun.”

 

Returning competitor Nick Ruiz with the 50th Mission Support Group finished the half marathon with a time of 1:25:36, and said the well-planned event was morale-boosting, and running around thousands of other competitors was energizing.

 

A week later, Schriever AFB hosted a 24-hour POW/MIA run Sept. 19, where Airmen from various squadrons continuously ran with the POW/MIA flag in 30 minute intervals. More than 70 participants carried the flag for a total of 120 miles.

Airman 1st Class Michael Weersma, 50th Space Communications Squadron client systems technician, participated in the run and said it was an honor to carry the flag.

“I felt like it was part of my duty,” he said. “It was a rewarding, meaningful experience I would gladly do again next year.”

The fitness center’s goal is to fulfill the 50th Space Wing priority of “take care of our Airmen and families always,” offering sporting events for all skillsets to participate in, even if it’s just from the stands.

Editor's Note: Senior Airman William Tracy, 50th Space Wing Public Affairs specialist, contributed to this article.