MENOMONIE, Wis. — For the third time in as many days, Bluecoats topped the reigning champion Santa Clara Vanguard to earn its 11th victory of the season. The Menomonie win holds Bluecoats’ place as the lone undefeated World Class corps heading into the third week of the DCI Tour.
“I thought this performance was a good match of energy versus focus and clarity. That’s kind of what we’ve been striving for,” Bluecoats drum major Peyton Grunzke said.
“How do we stay focused and not get distracted by what’s going on around us? That’s kind of the big question,” she said. “And I think for us it’s OK to pay attention to competition — that’s an important part of what we do — but more important than that is our satisfaction with ourselves and our performance we put out and our connection with the audience.”
1. Bluecoats » 84.900
2. Santa Clara Vangaurd » 84.000
The Canton, Ohio corps continued a strong weekend after wins in Lisle and Whitewater, besting Vanguard by a season-high 0.9 points and sweeping all captions except percussion. The margin was largely influenced by Bluecoats’ advantage in general effect, where they topped Vanguard by half a point.
Vanguard edged Bluecoats in percussion and finished just five hundredths of a point off the pace in music. Despite taking second in its last four competitions dating back to June 30, Vanguard remains optimistic as the DCI Tour continues to unfold.
“The vibe of the corps right now is hungry,” said Vanguard drum major Elad Zohar. “You hear it everywhere, but we’re hungry, and we’re just excited to continue performing.”
3. The Cadets » 79.000
4. Blue Stars » 77.750
5. Crossmen » 76.650
The Cadets capped off what’s been a strong week for the Allentown corps, particularly in the music caption — and percussion specifically. During a third-place performance Sunday night in Menomonie, the corps’ drum line and front ensemble section once again scored within 0.6 points of Bluecoats and Santa Clara Vanguard.
“I really love our percussion section, they are incredible,” Cadets drum major Loren Gregory said. “It’s not even a really big group of veterans [in the line], but there’s just a lot of talent in there and great leadership. They keep their heads down and just focus on the music. It’s really starting to pay off.”
Blue Stars had another impressive night in the visual caption, scoring well ahead of The Cadets into third place. The strong showing in visual allowed the Blue Stars to fend off the charging Crossmen, who have closed in on the Wisconsin corps substantially since the start of the season.
The two were separated by 2.85 points after their first meeting on June 22, and were still 1.95 points apart as recently as Tuesday. After pulling within six tenths of a point Saturday in Whitewater, Crossmen used strong numbers in the visual caption to hang within striking distance of the Blue Stars.
“We were just ready to come in and throw down and I think they did just that,” Crossmen drum major Lydia Marshall said. “We’ve come to a whole new level of performance energy and discovering what we can do as performers.”
6. Colts » 72.600
7. The Academy » 71.900
8. Madison Scouts » 70.050
Colts, The Academy and Madison Scouts rounded out of the World Class field in Menomonie, but it was Colts that garnered separation in the standings. The Iowa corps had an advantage of seven tenths over The Academy and 2.55 over the Scouts.
That said, the Arizona corps made up plenty of ground since falling 3.4 points behind Colts Friday evening in Lisle, Illinois, thanks to a head-to-head win in the visual caption and a tie in general effect. Music, however, went the way of the Colts by a substantial margin.
“We’re putting a lot of hard work into rehearsals and everything we’re doing,” Colts drum major Elijah Elmshaueser said. “We made a few modifications to the show … I think that’s definitely come across really well, and that’s been to the benefit of what we’ve been doing for the last week.”
1. Legends » 60.750
2. River City Rhythm » 57.350
3. Colt Cadets » 51.600
In its first weekend of the 2019 season, Legends has raced out of the gates en route to three straight Open Class victories. On Friday, the Kalamazoo, Michigan corps’ debut performance registered a 58.550, nearly a five-point bump from last year’s opener.
On Sunday, Legends broke 60 points for the second time this season, besting the corps’ score from this time last year by 4.15 points.
“After last night, we felt very strong,” Legends drum major Jack Murphy said. “Last night was a strong run-through and we were ready to do the same thing if not give a little more for tonight.”
Fresh off its all-time best Open Class finish of eighth place, River City Rhythm also continued a strong start to the 2019 campaign. The corps defeated Legends in the color guard caption and nearly did the same in percussion, and topped its output from this time a year ago by just over four points.
“It was a great show, it was an absolutely great show,” River City Rhythm drum major Adam Shew said. “We actually had a bus break down on the way here, so we got about 15 minutes of warm-up in, but you could really tell that the energy was just there. They were ready to get going, and they were excited to be here.”
Colt Cadets rounded out the Open Class lineup, also improving upon their 2018 score from this point in the season by 1.6 points.
Of the 11 DCI corps in competition in Menomonie, all but two will compete in the next two days. More than half of the groups will head to Mankato, Minnesota, while Bluecoats, Blue Stars and The Cadets make their way to Sioux City, Iowa. Both shows are set to take place Tuesday, July 9.