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Heidelberg’s team shows off its hardware Friday after completing an unbeaten run through the two-day DODDS-Europe Academic Games in Hambachtal, Germany. From left are team manager Jeff Enderton, team coach Karen Primmer, team captain Megan Bryan and team members Phil Cotter, Adam Lawrence, Randall Bryan and Kailan Sierra-Davidson.
Heidelberg’s team shows off its hardware Friday after completing an unbeaten run through the two-day DODDS-Europe Academic Games in Hambachtal, Germany. From left are team manager Jeff Enderton, team coach Karen Primmer, team captain Megan Bryan and team members Phil Cotter, Adam Lawrence, Randall Bryan and Kailan Sierra-Davidson. (Rusty Bryan / S&S)

HAMBACHTAL, Germany — A five-student team from Heidelberg which covered all the bases supplanted four-time king Ramstein on Friday as winners of the annual DODDS-Europe Academic Games.

Completing an unbeaten run through the 23rd annual edition of this two-day event were senior Megan Bryan, the team captain participating in her third Academic Games; senior Phil Cotter, a second-year participant; junior Adam Lawrence, who was a member of the Würzburg team in 2005; sophomore Kailan Sierra-Davidson; and freshman Randall Bryan.

“This is the greatest team I’ve ever had,” Heidelberg coach Karen Primmer said after the seventh squad she has taken to the event downed Kaiserslautern 195-105 in the championship game.

“They practiced well, took criticism well, and everybody covered a subject area,” she said.

The Academic Games are a quiz-format contest in which two teams attempt to be quicker than the other in answering 40 10-point questions covering all academic areas. Twenty-one schools ranging from Iceland to Bahrain spent the first day in pool play, with the top two teams from each of the four pools advancing to a double-elimination round.

Heidelberg reached the championship game Friday morning with a 145-105 victory over Kaiserslautern in the winners-bracket final, then downed the Red Raiders again in the title game.

As a consolation, the K-town team of Joshua Eklund, Tim Bailey, Mary Shoup, John Frank and Britini Van DeLinde took home the distinction of ending Ramstein’s four-year reign. Cast into the losers-bracket on Thursday night by Sigonella, Ramstein rebounded with an elimination-game victory over Aviano before taking on K-town.

K-town’s Eklund, voted MVP along with Ramstein’s Chris Kieta, answered “nylons” to the question, “What polymer is also the name of an article of women’s clothing?” to give K-town an insurmountable 125-90 lead in the losers-bracket final against Ramstein. Two questions later, Kaiserslautern won the match 125-100.

With K-town trailing 120-40 at halftime during the championship game against Heidelberg, Eklund came up with four straight correct answers after the break to close his team’s gap to 120-80.

Against Heidelberg’s generalists, however, K-town could come no closer.

“Our team was good because we had all the categories covered,” Heidelberg captain Bryan said. “We had an expert in history, experts in math, experts in science. We had few weaknesses.”

Bryan, who also praised her team’s chemistry, usually handled art and literature questions herself for the Lions, who last won this event in the 1980s.

Heidelberg’s Lawrence said his team received a boost when K-town, instead of Ramstein, turned up in the title game.

“We knew we had already beaten them,” he said.

For his part, Heidelberg’s Cotter talked about what might have been.

“We didn’t have a preference (about the final opponent),” he said, “but it would’ve been nice to face Ramstein, since we didn’t get to play them last year or this year.”

Whomever the foe, Primmer was full of praise for her team.

“Everything I asked them to do, they did,” she said. “If I told them to go home and learn something from the Periodic Table, they did. I look for good things in the future from all these kids.”

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