Winning general effect visual and music; visual performance, ensemble and color guard; and music brass and ensemble, the Cavaliers (95.575) bested a field of 12 corps to capture top honors at the DCI Eastern Classic Friday competition in Allentown, Pa. A half-point advantage over second-place Phantom Regiment in music brass and a .6 advantage in color guard accounted for most of the difference over the corps' Illinois rival. "We had a good performance tonight—one of the strongest shows we've had from an ensemble standpoint. The work we have been doing has really paid off for us," said Joe Hobbs, the Cavaliers' drum sergeant. "Coming into Championships, we are focusing more on cleaning the show, as I'm sure all corps are doing right now. There's definitely some stuff we can fix and tighten up as an ensemble, and also in the battery." Phantom Regiment (2nd-94.600) opened up a .55 spread over the Cavaliers and the Cadets in percussion, keeping the line's hope alive for a shot at the silver or gold in Madison. The corps stayed within .3 from the top GE score and was only .1 behind the Cavaliers in music ensemble. The Cavaliers' corps director Jeff Fiedler talks about what it is like being at the forefront of the competition and what the corps is looking forward to coming into the World Championships. The Cadets (3rd-92.875) just missed the top color guard score by .1, and that corps' percussion tied the Cavaliers', ending .7 under Phantom Regiment. That is extremely significant because a week earlier in Atlanta the line was .85 under the Cavaliers and 1.3 under Phantom Regiment.

Boston Crusaders perform in Allentown on Friday, Aug. 4.
Boston Crusaders (4th-87.925) led the next tier of corps, placing fifth in color guard and fourth in all other captions. Glassmen (5th-85.550) placed fifth in all captions except color guard, where they enjoyed a fourth place finish. Colts (6th-83.300), still in the hunt for a top-twelve finish in Madison, were sixth in all captions, tying Blue Stars in percussion. Blue Stars (7th-80.600), continuing to impress in its first year back in Division I, solidified its claim to being in the run for a Semifinals position at the World Championships, as did Capital Regiment (8th-80.225). The brightest spot for the Ohio corps was scoring just .05 under Colts and Blue Stars in Percussion. Mandarins (9th-77.050) bested Blue Stars and Capital Regiment in color guard; in most other captions they traded placements with the Magic (10th-74.950). Esperanza (11th-72.850) and Pioneer (12th-69.875) exchanged placements in a number of captions, with Esperanza exchanging some captions with the Magic, as well. Jubal, in the middle of its first North American tour since 2002, scored 69.975 on Division II sheets.