Reversing the .3 loss to the Cadets at last weekend's DCI West Championship at Stanford Stadium, Blue Devils (1st-97.200) topped The Cadets (2nd-96.5) by .7, winning General Effect Music, Music Ensemble and Percussion at the DCI World Championship Division I Quarterfinals. Although the Blue Devils' color guard took fourth in that caption, .6 under the Cavaliers' caption-high guard, the saving grace for the corps' spread over the Cadets was that their East Coast rival's guard finished in fifth place. Other than a third place finish in Visual Ensemble (only .3 out of the lead), the corps was no lower than second in any other caption. Considering the Cadets took first in Music Brass at Stanford over Blue Devils and Bluecoats, the fact the corps came in fifth at Quarterfinals (with the same score of 9.2) is of particular notice. Combined with the fifth place in Color Guard, which was first at Stanford (over Blue Devils by .5), the corps had some substantially different results in Pasadena that add mystery to the final outcome on Saturday. Other than those two captions, the corps was close in every other caption, whether it was in second (GE Music and Music Ensemble) or third (GE Visual, Visual Performance and Percussion). The Cavaliers (3rd-96.225) took the Color Guard caption by .6 above overall winner Blue Devils and .2 over nearest guard competitor Carolina Crown. Fifth place in Percussion (.75 under Blue Devils) and fourth place in Music Brass are the corps' Achilles Heel at the moment, and a .7 deficit to the Blue Devils and .5 down to the Cadets in Music GE accounts for most of the loss to BD and amounts to more than the shortage to the Cadets. (For those not aware of this fact; the GE Visual and GE Music scores are the only captions that are not divided in half before being added to the final score.) Other than those rogue captions, the corps placed second or third in everything else. Phantom Regiment (4th-94.600) continued to shine in Percussion, only .1 under Blue Devils. Third places in Music Brass and Color Guard got muted by fourth place finishes in Visual Performance, fifth place in GE Visual and Music Ensemble and sixth place in GE Music (1.2 under Blue Devils, although that alone would not have moved the corps up in position) and Visual Ensemble. Bluecoats (5th-93.700), Carolina Crown (6th-93.325) and Santa Clara Vanguard (7th-93.200) are jammed in the middle of the probable finalist pack. Bluecoats' 19.8 in Music Brass was the highest caption score earned by any corps, and Music Ensemble, Percussion and GE Music all finished in fourth. But keeping the corps out of the top four in Quarterfinals was seventh place finishes in GE Visual, Visual Ensemble and Color Guard, with Visual Performance in fifth. Carolina Crown's second place in Color Guard was the corps' major accomplishment, and Visual Ensemble was fourth. Every other caption was fifth or sixth. Santa Clara Vanguard took fourth in Visual GE and fifth in Music GE and Visual Ensemble. Sixth place in Color Guard and Music Ensemble, seventh in Visual Performance and Percussion and eighth in Music Brass kept the corps at the bottom of the three-way logjam with Bluecoats and Carolina Crown. Blue Knights (8th-90.200) and Boston Crusaders (9th-89.350) are fighting it out for the top eight spots, which each placing between eighth and 10th in every caption except BK in seventh in Music Brass and Boston's color guard in 11th. Glassmen (10th-87.175) and Colts (11th-87.075) seem securely within the top 12. Notable caption placements outside the norm were Glassmen's ninth place finish in Color Guard and Percussion, and 12th in both GE captions and Visual Ensemble. Colts' 13th place finish in Percussion and 14th place in Visual Performance were also outside that corps' norm. Aiming to hold on to a top-12 position, Spirit from JSU (12th-85.925) placed between the extremes of 10th in GE Visual and Percussion and 14th in Music Brass. Hoping to pop into the top 12 in the Semifinals competition are two corps that have been in the top 12 in prior DCI major regional competitions, The Academy (13th-84.975) and Blue Stars (14th-84.200). Of significant note is that the Academy placed 21st in Color Guard, 1.5 under Spirit, while Blue Stars placed 11th or 12th in all music captions, but between 13th and 16th in everything else. Madison Scouts (15th-82.500) continue to move up through the ranks. While their Music Ensemble placement was 14th, their color guard finished in 19th, with all other captions between 14th and 16th. Nipping on Madison's heels is Crossmen (16th-82.425), notable for placing 11th in Visual Performance but 18th in Visual Ensemble. A 1.6 deficit to Madison in GE Music kept the corps from making a run at both The Academy and Blue Stars. Pacific Crest (17th-80.750) captured that cherished last position in Semifinals over Cascades (18th-80.100) by a little bit here and a little bit there, largely trading caption advantages and a few tenths in several captions with Cascades. Likewise, Southwind (19th-77.950) and Troopers (20th-77.550) did the same type of exchanging caption advantages to place so close to each other. The field was rounded out by Mandarins (21st-75.200) and Pioneer (22nd-73.325).
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