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Air Force wins 5th straight bowling crown

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Master Sgt. Lori Trainor from Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, peers over her ball during the Armed Forces Bowling Championship here.  Airmen swept all the gold medals, claiming their fifth consecutive interservice team title and 15th overall since 1976.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Robbin Cresswell)

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Master Sgt. Lori Trainor from Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, peers over her ball during the Armed Forces Bowling Championship here. Airmen swept all the gold medals, claiming their fifth consecutive interservice team title and 15th overall since 1976. (U.S. Air Force photo by Robbin Cresswell)

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFPN) -- For anyone who says sports dynasties are dead, say hello to the Air Force bowling team.

The team dominated the 25th annual Armed Forces Bowling Championship held March 14 to 20 at the Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

Airmen swept all the gold medals, claiming their fifth consecutive interservice team title and 15th overall since 1976. Their 53,971 total pinfall bested the Army (49,873), Navy (48,495) and Marine Corps (36,536). The Marines sent only nine bowlers to the event sporting 12-person teams.

"The other services have good bowlers," Air Force coach and tournament director Chuck Hall said. "But, from top to bottom, we're the strongest team."

Hall's winning roster (with their 24-game scratch averages) included:

Men

Rickie Banister, F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., 208.25

Ricky Beck, Ellsworth AFB, S.D., 204.33

Mitch Beasly, Recruiting Service Squadron, Arlington, Texas, 202.21

Marty Bedford, Sembach Air Base, Germany, 195.79

Chuck Carroll, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, 194.71

Byron Randolph, Nellis AFB, Nev., 193.67

Women

Clarice Fielder, Langley AFB, Va., 190.13

Trish Rodgers, Lackland AFB, 181.46

Bobbi Boutwell, Luke AFB, Ariz., 174.88

MarCinda Baker, Offutt AFB, Neb., 171.42

Rebecca Moran, Tyndall AFB, Fla., 167.96

Lori Trainor, Randolph AFB, 164.00

The Air Force opened the tourney by taking the six-game team event with 12,909 to the Army's 12,476; the Navy's 12,126; and the Marine Corps' 9,188.

Banister and Bedford combined for 2,698 to claim the men's doubles event, while Boutwell and Fielder posted a 2,326 for the women's doubles crown. The remaining eight Air Force bowlers paired off to sweep second and third places in both doubles events.

In mixed doubles play, Rodgers and Beasly teamed to roll an event best 2,394. Of the remaining 23 mixed pairings, the Air Force finished second, fourth, sixth, seventh and 13th.

The singles events belonged to the Air Force team captains, the only left-handers on the squad. Banister's 1,426 led the men while Fielder's 1,212 paced the women.

"I came here just trying to make the team," said Banister of the Air Force training camp held on the same lanes the previous week. "I was a new bowler and didn't know what to expect. The veterans showed me the way and kept pushing."

"Last year, I entered the last day (singles) in first and choked," Fielder said. "This year, I was focused and confident."

Team total pinfalls in the singles event were: Air Force 14,083; Navy 12,466; Army 12,324; and Marine Corps 9,128.

Led by Fielder, the Air Force women finished 1-2-3, and in five out of the top seven places, in total pin count.

Meanwhile, the Air Force men made it a clean sweep of the top six spots. (Courtesy of Air Education and Training Command News Service)

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