The Boston Crusaders won the afternoon portion of the Southwestern Championships in San Antonio, Texas, today, with an overall score of 84. 90. The Crusaders' show, which ends with the most of the corps in a prone position on the field, was received enthusiastically by the Texas crowd. "It was awesome in the dome," said Nicole Worner, 21, a Crusaders' guard co-captain from Orlando, Fla. "No wind, temperature control and the floor was nice," Worner said. The Crusaders' show, entitled, "You Are My Star," was designed specifically to be a crowd-pleaser by Crusaders' corps director Howard Weinstein, according to Dan Greer, the Crusaders' operations director. It's a winner within the corps as well. "The kids love it," Greer said.A tight race escalated throughout the afternoon for second place, with six corps coming within three points of each other to earn that spot. The Seattle Cascades earned second place, having scored 82.85, ahead of the Blue Knights (81.35), the Spirit of Jacksonville State University (80.40), the Madison Scouts (80.25), the Carolina Crown (79.45), the Colts (79.25), Southwind (73.35), Kiwanis Kavaliers (69.40), Pioneer (67.25) and the Troopers (67.10). Based on their performances this afternoon, the Crusaders, Cascades, Blue Knights and Spirit all earned performances in this evening's competition.In Division II/III action, the Revolution of San Antonio, Texas, energized by a hometown crowd, scored a 67.1.The Cascades' strong performance this afternoon is the latest installment of an interesting odyssey for the Pacific Northwest corps. This is the Cascades' first season as a Division I corps."It felt really good in the dome. It all went really smooth, the crowd seemed to like it, and the energy was really high," said Dana Flewelling, 18, a Cascades pit member from Spokane, Wash. Earlier this month corps director Sal Leone expressed his surprise at their success thus far. "I am surprised. It's beyond my expectations. "We have the motivation and the attitude to succeed, and that's what makes it happen. We're excited about our start. We're hoping to progress even more," Leone said.Blue Knights members were thrilled with their strong performance. "I felt very good about today. It was a very solid show. In 20 days, it's still going to get better," said Josh Nelson, 21, of Lynchburg, Va., in his third year with the Blue Knights. Spirit members were likewise enthusiastic. "That show did something for me," said Brandon Smith, 16, a Spirit pit member from Atlanta. "Oh my gosh. It was our best show to date. The field was squishy, but it was our first performance in a dome and we were all hyped about that," said Linzy Brown, 20, a third-year Spirit guard member from Tampa, Fla. Katrina Brewsaugh, 20, a baritone player from Ft. Meyers, Fla., in her fifth season with the Spirit, was also enthused about the Spirit's performance. "It felt good today. The things we've been working on in rehearsal came through. There's lots of emotion in the show, from darkness to brightness, and to get everyone to achieve that is an accomplishment that we've been working for. We could tell it in our staff's faces that we achieved that," Brewsaugh explained. Southwind members were also pleased with the show this afternoon. "As a soloist, I was worried about the acoustics, but the staff has taught me well and I received all the information to do it perfectly," said Southwind member Loni Thernes, 20, of Lakeside Park, Ky. Thernes is a mellophone soloist and section leader. The Kiwanis Kavaliers, meanwhile, were happy with their show as well. "It was our best performance so far," said David Hodgson, 20, bass drum section leader from Galveston, Texas. "We were in the moment. Everyone was concentrating and everyone was 'in the zone.' And the crowd was responsive," Hodgson said, also noting the pleasant marching environment that the air conditioning made inside the Alamodome.
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