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Despite deployments, Army and Air Force athletes in Europe managed to crown interservice champions in the four team sports they had in common in 2005.

And when the dust settled from the Army-Air Force soccer tournament in October, Army trophy cases held four U.S. Forces Europe trophies while their Air Force counterparts finished with three.

The year started out with the Heidelberg men, three-time U.S. Army Europe champions, dethroning Ramstein 80-69 in the title game of the U.S. Forces Europe basketball tournament April 4 at Bamberg, Germany. The Generals, led by All-Armed Forces guard Craig Marcelin, had forced the if-necessary-game showdown with an 88-78 victory earlier in the day.

The Air Force, however, was guaranteed at least a split of the year’s first championships when two of its teams squared off for the women’s title. Mildenhall took it, 63-55 over Ramstein.

The focus moved to Wiesbaden, Germany, in June, where the Army swept both volleyball titles. Heidelberg’s men needed five sets to dethrone two-time defending U.S. Forces champion Ramstein; Bamberg’s women pinned two defeats, 3-1 and 3-2, on Ramstein that same day.

The services split the softball crowns at Aviano, Italy, in August. Ramstein’s men forced a winner-take-all showdown with an 18-6 victory over Army champion Kaiserslautern on Aug. 27, then clobbered the Panthers 32-12 in the finale later the same day. Ramstein pitcher Tim Snyder was voted tourney MVP.

Heidelberg’s women, however, returned the favor in their tournament, coming out of the losers bracket to down Aviano 5-0 and 10-2 behind tourney MVP Jessica Turner.

In the final team competition of the year, held Oct. 30 at Camp Darby, Italy, Spangdahlem claimed the U.S. Forces Europe men’s soccer crown with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Aviano. Dale Davis scored the game-winning goal. There was no women’s tournament.

In the year’s biggest event for individuals, Germany-based Edmond Chapa of Baumholder and Jacqueline Chen of Landstuhl posted victories July 16 in the Army-Europe 10-miler at Grafenwöhr, Germany.

Chapa a newcomer to the theater who ran at North Texas University, covered the distance in 54 minutes, 32.37 seconds, to beat runner-up Johnothan Dreher of Vilseck by more than two minutes.

Chen, a masters-age runner, won the women’s division by more than 3½ minutes over Tara Mahoney of Vilseck. Chen clocked 64:42.5.

Both runners were to lead eight-member men’s and women’s teams in October’s Army 10-miler in Washington, D.C., but that race was declared an 11-mile fun run when a suspicious package forced a rerouting of the race after it had begun.

The military community also conducted competitions in, among other events, cycling, skiing and snowboarding, boxing, wrestling, bowling, weight lifting, flag football and track and field.


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