Thirty-six corps converged at Lucas Oil Stadium Thursday, Aug. 8 for the 2013 DCI World Championships Prelims. Five Open Class corps finished among the top 25, earning them a spot in the World Championship Semifinals on Friday. Taking first place, the Blue Devils (97.20) finished just .15 ahead of second-place corps, Carolina Crown (97.05), who has traded victories with the California corps all summer long. "The corps' feeling a push," Blue Devils Drum Major Marvin Reed said. "They say it's your attitude, not your aptitude, that will control your altitude. This week's been all about changing our attitude, so that the only way from here is up." Though finishing Thursday night behind the Blue Devils, Carolina Crown Drum Major Linda Harvey said arriving in Indianapolis has allowed her corps to find a new level of performance, and inspired new drive within the members. "Finally getting here to Lucas Oil [Stadium] and feeling the vibe is what everyone's been waiting for since way back in November," Harvey said. "It's very overwhelming, but it gives you that extra oomph for the performance."
The Cadets (3rd, 96.10) finished just under a point behind second place, with Santa Clara Vanguard (4th, 95.50) six tenths behind. Baritone player and winner of Vanguard's 2013 Art Velarde Spirit Award, Mario Castro, said he knows the entire corps will be proud of what they put on the field at the end of the season, though only the crowd can explain the quality of their performance. "You've got to have that emotion. We've been through 84 days, and if you don't have your heart behind your work at the end, it's not really worth it," Castro said. Bluecoats (5th, 92.90) finished ahead of Phantom Regiment (6th, 92.35) for just the fourth of more than 20 times the two corps have met this season. The Cavaliers and Madison Scouts tied for seventh place, each earning a score of 89.90, and Blue Knights (88.05) placed ninth.
Santa Clara Vanguard
Boston Crusaders (87.95) finished in 10th due to a one-point penalty assessed for a violation of the DCI Rulebook. Before entering the field, the corps members let out a cloud of baby powder, as an effect to add to the drama as corps members ran out of the stadium tunnel. According to the rulebook, under the "Miscellaneous Equipment" section, "The use of powders or powder-like substances is prohibited on or around the competition field." This policy is enforced in order to prevent safety hazards and damage to the field. Spirit of Atlanta (11th, 86.75) and Blue Stars (12th, 85.50) rounded out the top 12, leaving Crossmen (83.75) in 13th. Blue Stars Drum Major Sean Villanueva said the corps will focus on maintaining a calm mindset during Semifinals, after falling behind Crossmen and out of the top 12 last summer. "We're on the track we need to be," Villanueva said. "The corps is riding on a high right now. We just came off an amazing show in a huge stadium, and we know we've got momentum going into tomorrow and the next day."
Troopers (14th, 83.60) placed 15 hundredths of a point behind Crossmen, and more than two points ahead of Pacific Crest (15th, 81.45), who had Colts (16th, 81.40) and Mandarins (17th, 79.25) behind them. "Every day of this season has been a struggle, but at the same time, each day was the most exciting thing ever," Pacific Crest tenor drummer Alejandro Villasenor said. "Going into tomorrow, we've just got to lay it down. It's the last one, so we've got to really bring our best." Oregon Crusaders (18th, 78.45), about to wrap up their first season competing as a World Class corps, had a performance demonstrating improvements made over the past week, according to drum majors Kaleigh Hull and Happiness Yi. "Last year was about proving how far an Open Class corps can get against the World Class, and this year is about making the statement that we're here to stay," Yi said. "We're here, we're growing, we're getting better." With 16 members "aging out" this year, more than ever in the corps' history, Hull and Yi hope this season instills a sense of alumni pride that will only continue to grow.
"Everything has meaning right now, because it's our last one," Hull said. "Today, I was just so much more aware of what I did, stepping up onto the podium, taking my shako off, and setting my hands up while hearing the announcement. It's a hyper awareness, because the last time is approaching." 2013 Open Class World Champion, Vanguard Cadets (19th, 78.20), was the highest-placing Open Class corps in the Prelims with Blue Devils B (20th, 77.75), the Academy, (21st, 77.50), Jersey Surf (22nd, 74.55) and Genesis (23rd, 73.75) trailing. Genesis Drum Major Sebastian Vega said even if their Prelims performance had been the last of the season, his corps would not only be satisfied, but also grateful for the successful season they had. "Getting to rehearse and compete another day, after getting the opportunity to medal at Open Class Championships, shows that our hard work has been paying off," Vega said. Spartans (72.80) finished in 24th, followed by Music City (25th, 71.55) which will advance to the Semifinals for the first time in their history.
Gold (26th, 69.95) just missed the cutoff for the second year in a row, this time by 1.6 points. Cascades (27th, 69.85) followed, finishing ahead of Pioneer (28th, 69.05) for the first time since July 27 in Huntsville, Ala. Cascades Drum Major Michael Tran, an age-out corps member, said that he came into the Prelims wanting to make the show the best of his life. "Everyone was ecstatic tonight, it was like we were all connected as one," Tran sad. "But it still hasn't hit me yet that that was my last show." Legends (29th, 68.40) and 7th Regiment (30th, 67.00) were the only Open Class corps to change in order compared to the placements at Tuesday's Open Class World Championship Finals. Rounding out the massive 36-corps lineup was Raiders (31st, 64.90), Colt Cadets (32nd, 63.10), Taipei Yuehfu (33rd, 60.90), Les Stentors (34th, 58.25), Racine Scouts (35th, 55.60) and Blue Saints (36th, 52.00). The top 25 corps from Prelims will continue on, performing at the Semifinals Friday, Aug. 9, with the top 12 from that event qualifying for the Finals competition the following day. View a complete recap of scores from 2013 World Championships Prelims. View a photo gallery from this event on Facebook. Watch World Championships Semifinals LIVE on the Fan Network. View the complete schedule of 2013 DCI World Championship events. Contributing to this report: Jessica Skogh