In the corps' easternmost performance to date, Santa Clara Vanguard finished the week the way it started, with a victory.

With a score of 84.850, Vanguard notched another first-place finish, besting the field of eight World Class corps during the Tour of Champions series event at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

“This recent success has put a fire in our corps,” Vanguard drum major Christopher Harper said. “It's kicking us into a higher gear. Everybody is performing very well, and people are starting to feel more confident about this show.”

Vanguard continued to earn high marks on the score sheets, taking top honors in all captions.

Back on Illinois soil for the first time since July 1, Rosemont, Illinois' The Cavaliers didn't finish far behind in their first meeting with Santa Clara Vanguard. The Green Machine finished in second on Saturday night with a score of 83.200.

The Cadets (3rd, 81.200) put out another strong performance in DeKalb, staying ahead of Phantom Regiment (4th, 78.850) by a little less than two and a half points.

Jesse Valencia, a Cadets front ensemble member, said the corps recently added a re-worked final movement of its production “The Faithful, The Fallen, The Forgiven," following a week that saw the corps upset by the Boston Crusaders for the first time since 1980.

“From the competitive side of things, we knew this was going to happen with an unfinished show, so that's why we put the whole thing together and have fixed a lot of the issues,” he said. “We're coming out strong this week."

In recent meetings, the Blue Stars and Crossmen have been in a tight race, never more than 1.05 points apart. Saturday was no exception as the Wisconsin corps finished in fourth with a 76.950 to Crossmen's fifth-place 76.500.

“Oh we just can't wait to get back to Texas,” Crossmen executive director Fred Morrison said of the DCI Tour's upcoming swing through his corps' home state. “We are gonna raise the roof ... We have the best show design and the best corps we've ever had, so look out, here we come.”

Also performing at Huskie Stadium was The Academy (7th, 72.000) and Colts (8th, 72.1550), who were once again locked less than five tenths apart.

The show in DeKalb kicks off an eight-event series of Tour of Champions (TOC) competitions on the DCI Tour schedule this summer. Upcoming TOC shows will take place in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (July 18), Houston (July 21), Nashville (July 28), Winston-Salem, North Carolina (July 30), Chester, Pennsylvania (Aug. 3), Buffalo, New York (Aug. 6) and Massillon, Ohio (Aug. 7).