World Class: Carolina Crown (91.500) July 25, Atlanta, GA
Open Class: Vanguard Cadets (73.050) July 25, Oregon, WI
High Caption Scores
Brass: Carolina Crown (18.5) July 26, Winston-Salem, NC
Percussion: Santa Clara Vanguard (18.9) July 26, Winston-Salem, NC
Color Guard: Carolina Crown (18.2) July 26, Winston-Salem, NC
Brass: Vanguard Cadets (15.0) July 25, Oregon, WI
Percussion: Vanguard Cadets (15.1) July 25, Oregon, WI
Color Guard: Vanguard Cadets (13.9) July 24, Dixon, IL
Storylines to Watch
In Open Class competition, Legends is on track for one of its best finishes in history.
Competitive chaos: The Cadets’ reign at the top of the standings lasted less than two weeks. The chaos started on Friday night in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. At The Masters of the Summer Music Games, the Blue Devils became the first corps to knock off the Cadets since July 12. The next night in Atlanta, it was Carolina Crown who came out on top, before the Blue Devils regained the lead Sunday in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Meanwhile, the Cadets haven’t exactly fallen off the face of the Earth; they’re sitting only a half a point back.
In the last four days, three different corps have been in the lead, with two more (Bluecoats and Santa Clara Vanguard) right behind them. Oh, and by the way, there are just 12 days remaining until the World Championship Finals. Enjoy the next two weeks!
Better late than never: Scores have been lower across the board this year as compared to last year. One way to tell is by looking at when corps have been breaking the 90-point barrier. Last year, the first corps to break 90 did so July 18, and five had already accomplished the feat going into the DCI Southeastern Championship in Atlanta. This year, nobody reached 90 before Atlanta. Corps are reaching the mark a full week later compared to last year.
Steady in the standings: One of the only pockets of stability in the current standings exists between sixth and ninth place, where the Blue Knights, Cavaliers, Phantom Regiment and Madison Scouts have barely switched positions at all over the past couple weeks. After that group, all bets are off. The Boston Crusaders, Blue Stars and Crossmen appear to have 10th through 12th locked down, but the order they finish is anyone’s guess. Each of those three corps has beaten each of the other two corps multiple times this season, with their positions switching often over the past few weeks.
Horse race: Should one of the aforementioned three corps slip, there are several corps waiting to take their place in the Finals. The Troopers have been on pace for 13th place for much of the season, eyeing an opportunity to pass one of the top 12 corps, but a late surge from the Colts has put that position in doubt. In Atlanta, the Colts topped the Troopers for the first time all season. Both corps still have hard work ahead of them if they want to break into the top 12, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see these two corps jockeying for position down the stretch in what should be an exciting race to the finish.
Battles across the board: The 2015 DCI Tour has been competitive up and down the scoreboard this year. Eyeing spots among the top 25 corps that advance to the DCI World Championship Semifinals, the Cascades and Jersey Surf are locked in a fierce battle that’s as close as any of the ones above them. The Cascades defeated Jersey Surf for the first time since 2011 earlier this season, but in the past week and a half, neither corps has been able to gain more than a point of separation.
(Wide) Open Class: The competition in Open Class is just as tight as it is in World Class. Like World Class, there are several corps that are making pushes to get to the medal stand, but there simply aren't enough spots for everyone. Among the interesting storylines are Legends, who sat just over two points behind Blue Devils B on Saturday in Hamilton, Ohio. The Kalamazoo, Michigan corps had never been closer than 8.15 points in the past two years, and for most of their history has faced a double-digit deficit.
Meanwhile, the two perennial heavyweights, Vanguard Cadets and Blue Devils B, won't see each other again until World Championships Week kicks off in Michigan City, Indiana, making any attempts to predict how the field will unfold difficult.
Strong starts: Southwind and Heat Wave, both new to the DCI Tour this year, were the final two corps to begin their seasons when they did so earlier this week. Both corps scheduled abbreviated tours that ended in Atlanta on Saturday. While neither is headed to Michigan City for the Open Class Championship starting August 3, both corps can feel good about their performances: the scores they recorded during the week would put them right on track to make it through to the Open Class Finals.
Simulated World Class Top 12: Based on averaging total scores over the past week, the top 12 corps at the DCI World Championship Finals will potentially be (pluses and minuses indicate change from last week): 1. Blue Devils (+1) 2. The Cadets (-1) 3. Carolina Crown (+1) 4. Bluecoats (-1) 5. Santa Clara Vanguard 6. Blue Knights 7. Phantom Regiment (+1) 8. The Cavaliers (-1) 9. Madison Scouts 10. Blue Stars (+2) 11. Crossmen (-1) 12. Boston Crusaders (-1).
The Troopers, Colts, and Academy had the next three highest average scores of the week.
Simulated Open Class: Based on averaging total scores from Open Class corps that performed in the past week*, the top corps at the DCI Open Class Championship will potentially be: 1. Vanguard Cadets 2. Blue Devils B 3. Genesis 4. 7th Regiment 5. Legends 6. Spartans 7. Music City 8. Colt Cadets 9. Raiders 10. Les Stentors 11. Racine Scouts
*Gold, Blue Saints and River City Rhythm, who will all attend Open Class Championships, did not perform this week.
The Cascades will perform in West Virginia, Virginia and Pennsylvania this week.