ALLENTOWN, Pa. — After a rained-out Friday event, the DCI Eastern Classic rolled on Saturday night, with Carolina Crown topping a lineup of 12 World Class corps competing at J. Birney Crum Stadium.
1. Carolina Crown » 93.326
2. Boston Crusaders » 92.250
3. The Cavaliers » 91.625
In its first-place finish in Allentown, Carolina Crown took top marks in the general effect and music captions, while continuing to keep a considerable distance from both Boston Crusaders and The Cavaliers.
According to drum major Michael St. Ores, Crown — which has recently found itself just outside the overall World Class top three — is riding high heading into the final week of the 2018 DCI Tour.
“That was quite the run,” St. Ores said. “Being able to perform in this stadium in front of this crowd was really cool, especially to hear it from the front sideline.”
One of the closest and most unpredictable races continues to be that of Boston Crusaders and The Cavaliers. After trailing by more than a point in Winston-Salem on Monday, the Green Machine pushed back ahead by 0.05, Wednesday in Chester, Pennsylvania.
“We came into this show with a couple rehearsal days facing rain off and on,” Cavaliers assistant drum major Ryan Little said. “We really just took a moment to ourselves to focus, reigned it in, thought about all the work in rehearsal we did, and lit it up.”
Saturday night, however, it was Boston Crusaders holding a more than one point advantage in the race for a top-five finish. The New England corps’ standout marks were in visual analysis and color guard, which helped earn a first-place finish in the visual caption overall.
“This was definitely one of the more energetic and emotional shows that we’ve had especially since the last couple were rained out,” Boston Crusaders drum major Nick Winckel said. “We’ve been building up this energy, and we let it all out tonight.”
4. The Cadets » 90.025
5. Blue Stars » 87.400
At their hometown event, The Cadets kept a strong lead over the Blue Knights, passing the 90-point threshold for the first time this season. The Allentown corps used impressive numbers in the percussion and visual captions to shave more than a point off of its deficit from The Cavaliers on Wednesday in Chester.
According to Cadets drum major Claire Albrecht, the electric audience reaction to her corps’ performance of its program, “The Unity Project,” was particularly meaningful.
“That was by far the most special moment of drum corps I’ve had,” Cadets drum major Claire Albrecht said. “I know for a fact that I’ll remember that for the rest of my life.”
6. Crossmen » 85.775
7. Spirit of Atlanta » 84.400
8. The Academy » 83.838
Crossmen remained in control in the race for the final spot in the Top 12, holding a lead of 1.375 over its closest competitors, Spirit of Atlanta and The Academy. The San Antonio corps earned fifth-place finishes in the visual proficiency and color guard captions, and saw its distance from 13th place grow from 0.601 in Atlanta.
With its Top 12 position still intact, Crossmen has its sights set on a fifth consecutive trip to the DCI World Championship Finals.
“Getting to have that last Saturday night to perform the show with everybody, we don’t take any of it for granted,” Crossmen drum major Kristin Hodges said. “So it’s going to be really special no matter what the scores are.”
The Academy, which had trailed Spirit of Atlanta by 1.275 at last Saturday’s DCI Southeastern Championship, recently jumped back ahead of the Atlanta corps by seven tenths of a point on Thursday in Rome, New York.
While Spirit regained a tight lead in Allentown thanks in large part to its music scores, drum major Sierra Rogers said that a strong week has the Arizona corps feeling optimistic heading into the season’s final push.
“I’ve got to say scores have been surprising us this week, so it’s been really exciting,” Rogers said. “It feels like we’ve been given an opportunity and we really want to take hold of it.”
9. Pacific Crest » 77.162
10. Oregon Crusaders » 74.255
11. Genesis » 72.838
12. Jersey Surf » 70.175
Pacific Crest kept its distance from the remaining group of corps while closing in on the 80-point mark. Jersey Surf also broke 70 points for the first time this season with its Allentown result.
Oregon Crusaders and Genesis, which have been closely matched at times this season, remained relatively close, but the Oregon corps kept some space thanks to impressive showings in the color guard and visual analysis captions.
“All of our improvements made in rehearsals have really started showing up in performances, and I’m really excited for where that’s going to take us,” said Oregon Crusaders drum major Chasen Young. “This is the strongest [end of season] push I’ve seen from this drum corps.”
Due to Friday night’s rain-out, Allentown results will not be used to determine the performance order for the DCI World Championship Prelims this season. The full order for the Thursday event in Indianapolis has been set, and is based off of scores from the DCI Southwestern Championship and the DCI Southeastern Championship.
With events in Allentown wrapped up, World Class corps will begin making their way west toward Indianapolis, where the DCI World Championships will begin Thursday morning.