2017 Grand National Championships


Prelims Results
(View Prelims 1 recap here)
(View Prelims 2 recap here)

Semifinals Results
(View full recap here)

Class A
1. Adair County H.S., KY
2. Norton H.S., OH
3. Beechwood H.S., KY
Music: Adair County H.S., KY
Visual: (tie) Adair County H.S., KY
and Norton H.S., OH
GE: Adair County H.S., KY

Class AA
1. Marian Catholic H.S., IL
2. North Hardin H.S., KY
3. Bassett H.S., VA
Music: Marian Catholic H.S., IL
Visual: Marian Catholic H.S., IL
GE: Marian Catholic H.S., IL

Class AAA
1. Castle H.S., IN
2. Dobyns-Bennett H.S., TN
3. Fort Mill H.S., SC
Music: Castle H.S., IN
Visual: Castle H.S., IN
GE: Castle H.S., IN

Class AAAA
1. Carmel H.S., IN
2. Broken Arrow H.S., OK
3. Avon H.S., IN
Music: Broken Arrow H.S., OK
Visual: Carmel H.S., IN
GE: Carmel H.S., IN

Finals Results
(View full recap here)

1. (97.500) Carmel H.S., IN
2. (96.925) Broken Arrow H.S., OK
3. (96.475) Avon H.S., IN
4. (95.700) Marcus H.S., TX
5. (95.625) Flower Mound H.S., TX
6. (92.725) Dobyns-Bennett H.S., TN
7. (91.825) The Woodlands H.S., TX
8. (91.200) Castle H.S., IN
9. (91.175) Blue Springs H.S., MO
10. (91.025) Union H.S., OK
11. (89.800) Marian Catholic H.S., IL
12. (89.625) Round Rock H.S., TX

Music: (tie) Broken Arrow H.S., OK
and Carmel H.S., IN
Visual: Carmel H.S., IN
GE: Carmel H.S., IN

Returning 2016 Finalists (7)
1. Carmel H.S., IN
2. Avon H.S., IN
3. William Mason H.S., OH
10. Castle H.S., IN
11. Homestead H.S., IN
12. Marian Catholic H.S., IL
13. Dobyns-Bennett H.S., TN

Previous Champions
2016: Carmel H.S., IN
2015: Broken Arrow H.S., OK
2014: Tarpon Springs H.S., FL
2013: The Woodlands H.S., TX
2012: Carmel H.S., IN
2011: Broken Arrow H.S., OK

States Represented (23)
Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin.

The 2017 Grand National Championships will be held Nov. 9–11 at Lucas Oil Stadium. In 2016, Carmel was named Grand National Champion. Despite tying Avon in overall score, Carmel won because the group earned a higher general effect total score.

Download a printable version of our guide by clicking here. It includes full schedules and analysis for the weekends.


Instead of reading our opinions, try listening to them on the HornRank Podcast:


Thursday Prelims (50 bands, 8:45 a.m. – 11:15 p.m.)

Thursday Block 1 (12 bands, 8:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.)

The Grand National Championships begin bright and early Thursday morning with John Hardin at the start of a massive midwestern block of bands. There are also a few Tennessee bands to watch out for sprinkled in. Wrapping up this block is Franklin, a perennial bubble band for finals. Expect nothing less from them this year.

9:30 a.m. — Fred J. Page H.S., TN
Fred J. Page had some success earlier this season in Jacksonville. At this regional, they managed to claim the visual caption and second in class AA during prelims. With a strong show in class, they could snatch a semifinals position on class rep, if they are one of the top two scoring bands in their class.

11:30 a.m. — Franklin H.S., TN
Franklin performs at the Clarksville Regional in 2016. // Photo by Jeremiah Wooten
Franklin placed second to Castle at this year’s Clarksville Regional. Franklin has historically been one of the most watched bubble bands at Grand Nationals placing as high as 13th in 2015. Franklin is certainly a group to watch in this block and will likely advance easily into semifinals where they’ll be performing alongside the best for a finals spot.

Thursday Block 2 (12 bands, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.)

Broken Arrow is headlining the second block at Grand Nationals this year. A frequent medalist at Grand Nationals, Broken Arrow comes into this year’s competition with a win at the St. Louis Super Regional already under their belt. But there are plenty of other great groups to watch prior to the Pride’s performance. Homestead is on our must watch list for this block after defeating William Mason in Toledo by over a point and one of our favorite underdogs, Fort Mill, is also making an appearance in this block. Another expected semifinalist is Centerville from Ohio, and fellow Ohio band Bellbrook could advance to semifinals based on class representation.

12:30 p.m. — Fort Mill H.S., SC
We’ve seen a lot of Fort Mill, and we can’t say we’re mad about it. They are just on fire this year. With an engaging scene of props and drill paired with music from classic movies such as Cinema Paradiso, the audience doesn’t stand a chance. Fort Mill has really commanded our attention this season and we’re confident you’ll love them too. The band pulled off an incredible upset in Winston-Salem, beating 2016 Grand National Finalist Dobyns-Bennett. You won’t want to miss their absolutely stunning ballad.

1:00 p.m. — Bellbrook H.S., OH
Bellbrook is a familiar face in class A. They have won class A at Grand Nationals in years past, and we expect them to be just as good as any other year. We believe they have a real chance of making it into semis and could place in class during semifinals.

1:45 p.m. — Homestead H.S., IN
Homestead performs at the Indianapolis Super Regional on Oct. 21, 2017. // Photo by Jace Hook
Homestead has been back on the BOA scene for a few years now and we’re still paying attention. Homestead has made themselves a front-runner at the Indianapolis Super Regional and has claimed a spot in finals the past two years. This year they even jumped William Mason a Toledo, which certainly deserves some attention. As for their fate at Grand Nationals this year, we’re not quite sure what to think. The bubble is huge as always but we know Homestead is going to be great as always. You’ll want to check them out for sure in this block.

2:45 p.m. — Ada H.S., OH
Ada is known for using bright colors, sometimes even colored trombones! They have traditionally had untraditional shows such as last year’s version of Toy Story on a football field. Ada is so much fun to watch, so we’re encouraging everyone to give them a listen.

3:00 p.m. — Centerville H.S., OH
Centerville took home third at Toledo this year just three points behind William Mason. Centerville was also seventh at the Indianapolis Super Regional, a little over a point behind Marian Catholic. Last year, Centerville did not make semifinals, but we are still watching to see how they will fare this season. Based on their successes earlier this season, we believe Centerville will do well at Grand Nationals.

3:15 p.m. — Broken Arrow H.S., OK
Broken Arrow performs at the St. Louis Super Regional on Oct. 21, 2017. // Photo by Jeremiah Wooten
We know we don’t have to sell you on why you should watch Broken Arrow however, we feel the need to recap just how well they’ve done in 2017. Broken Arrow is the reigning St. Louis Super Regional Champion. Not only did they win by over a point but they also swept caption and class awards. Definitely stick around to watch this group as much as you can while they’re in Indy.

Thursday Block 3 (12 bands, 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.)

This block kicks off with three strong former finalists who are all firmly in the running for a finals position this year. You’ll also see potential first-time finalist O’Fallon Township, expected finalist Marcus, a band from Hawaii, and several groups in the running for a class representation slot in semifinals.

4:00 p.m. — Dobyns-Bennett H.S., TN
Returning finalist Dobyns-Bennett kicks off this jam-packed afternoon block. After breaking into finals last year, DB will be looking to return to finals amidst a slew of new competitors. The band did not return to Atlanta this season, so the most recent BOA result from DB is Winston-Salem, where they earned first in prelims and a narrow second in finals.

4:15 p.m. — Union H.S., OK
Union performs at the Indianapolis Super Regional on Oct. 21, 2017. // Photo by Jace Hook
We’ve really enjoyed seeing Union grow this year. After missing finals last year, they appear to be making a push that could earn a spot back in finals. Earlier this season, they placed fourth in Indianapolis right behind Castle.

4:30 p.m. — Castle H.S., IN
Last year, Castle earned their first finals appearance at Grand Nationals and could earn a second this year, despite some serious competition. The band was named regional champion at the Clarksville Regional in September and earned their first super regional medal at the Indianapolis Super Regional just a few weeks ago.

4:45 p.m. – Lake Hamilton H.S., AR
As a class AA school, Lake Hamilton could find themselves advancing to semifinals based on class representation. All they have to do is place is in the top two in class on Thursday, which is not out of the question for this Arkansas band.

5:15 p.m. — O'Fallon Township H.S., IL
Tarp Town really impressed us at St. Louis. This might be the show to carry them into finals or at least be closer than they’ve ever been before. Either way, you will want to see this show as many times as possible, and maybe bring along a pair of sunglasses.

5:30 p.m. — Marcus H.S., TX
Marcus performs at the San Antonio Super Regional on Nov. 4, 2017. // Photo by Jeremiah Wooten
Missing this consistent national finalist’s show is a bad idea. So far this season Marcus has competed at the Southlake Regional, placing third, and the San Antonio Super Regional, placing seventh. Their show is rather ODD, by design, and we’re certain you’ll enjoy it.

5:45 p.m. — Bassett H.S., VA
We’re not certain Bassett will be among the top thirty bands advancing to semis on score, considering their performance slot in the middle of a stacked Thursday prelims. We think Bassett has a good chance of advancing to semifinals as one of the top two scoring bands in their class. They have previously made finals at Winston-Salem this season.

6:00 p.m. — Maui H.S., HI
It’s not everyday you get to see a band from Hawaii, so make sure you’re in a seat ready to watch Maui, who has traveled over 4,000 miles to perform in Indy!

6:15 p.m. — Jenison H.S., MI
Jenison has been a consistent finalist at the Toledo Regional for several years and could advance to semifinals either as the top two in their class or possibly based on score.

Thursday Block 4 (14 bands, 7:45 p.m. – 11:15 p.m.)

Make sure you’re back in your seat on time, as this block kicks off with consistent finalist and medalist Avon and features all three of last year’s top three from Grand Nats. You’ll also get to see two Texas bands and several other solid semifinalists.

7:45 p.m. — Avon H.S., IN
Avon performs at the San Antonio Super Regional on Nov. 4, 2017, at the Alamodome. // Photo by Jeremiah Wooten
Coming off an exciting trip to San Antonio, where Avon earned the highest placing spot of any band attending Grand Nats, the Marching Black and Gold has just a few more days of rehearsal to perfect their show. Considering their status as a three-time national champion, we can’t help overlooking the subtle reference to a possible fourth national championship included in their show title, stylized Test4ment.

8:00 p.m. — Lawrence Township H.S., IN
Lawrence Township is hitting a milestone this year as it’s the fourth season of the organization’s existence. That means it’s the first year that all of its members have only been members of the Marching Pride of Lawrence Township, not Lawrence Central or Lawrence North. The band continued its streak of finals appearances at the Indianapolis Super Regional and we expect they’ll also continue their streak of national semifinals appearances, despite performing on the tougher day.

8:30 p.m. — Center Grove H.S., IN
Center Grove has inched up one placement at Indy Super each of the past four years, moving from 11th in finals in 2014 to eighth in finals a few weeks ago. A similarly strong showing in prelims will earn the band a spot in semifinals.

8:45 p.m. — William Mason H.S., OH
Mason is a group that we know relatively little about. They competed at the Toledo Regional earlier this year, placing second behind Homestead, but they haven’t attended another BOA show or comparable event since. While we expect they will be firmly in semifinals, we’re not entirely sure where they will end up.

9:15 p.m. — Carmel H.S., IN
The returning Grand National champion is in a great position this season, having won two regionals and a super regional already this season. That’s the strongest regular season record Carmel has had since 2013, when the band finished second place at Grand Nats.

9:30 p.m. — Round Rock H.S., TX
Round Rock has a respectable record of success at Grand Nats, improving their placement from San Antonio to Grand Nats in both 2013 and 2015. Their 18th place finish at San Antonio may have been shocking to some, but we expect at least two, and possibly three great shows from Round Rock this weekend.

10:15 p.m. — Adair County H.S., KY
The reigning national class A champion is one of the very few class A bands who have a chance of advancing to semifinals based on score. Despite competing on the tougher day, and toughest block, we expect to see Adair again on Saturday, even if that means advancing on class representation.

10:45 p.m. — James F. Byrnes H.S., SC
Byrnes is returning to Grand Nationals after a successful 2017 season that strongly mirrored the success of their 2016 season. The band earned another top three finish at the Winston-Salem Regional before another eighth-place finish at the Atlanta Super Regional. We are confident we will be watching Byrnes perform again in semifinals.

11:00 p.m. — Winston Churchill H.S., TX
A former national finalist and one of many strong Texas bands making the trip to Grand Nats this year, Churchill will likely earn a semifinalist spot. The band has a long history of finals appearances at BOA events, and it’s always fun to see the Texas bands in Indy when they come.

Friday Prelims (50 bands, 7:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.)

Friday Block 1 (13 bands, 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.)

Set several alarms for this morning, because you won’t want to miss any of the bands in this first block. Owasso kicks it off bright and early at 7:00 a.m. Later on, you’ll get to see who we consider finalists locks, Flower Mound, Blue Springs, and The Woodlands. Several other semifinalist contenders will also compete in this morning block.

7:00 a.m. — Owasso H.S., OK
Somehow Owasso has the worst luck in random draw times, performing as the first band on their day in St. Louis earlier this year and here at Grand Nats last year. Despite that early time, they’ll certainly bring some energy and will be a great way to kick of your day. Just make sure you grab some coffee.

7:30 a.m. — Flower Mound H.S., TX
Flower Mound performs at the San Antonio Super Regional on Nov. 4, 2017, at the Alamodome. // Photo by Jeremiah Wooten
After winning decisive victories at Texas regionals and super regionals in 2015 and 2016, FloMo is finally returning to Grand Nats. You may think you can sleep in this morning and just watch them in semis and finals, where they will certainly be performing again, but you should take advantage of every chance you get to watch this amazing band.

8:15 a.m. — Union City H.S., TN
With two guaranteed semifinals spots for class A bands, we could see Union City advancing to semifinals on class representation. The band has been a consistent participant in BOA events and hold numerous regional and super regional class placement awards.

8:45 a.m. — Flanagan H.S., FL
It’s been a few years since Flanagan has attended a BOA event, but we do know their guard continues to be outstanding, earning a finalist spot again in the WGI scholastic world class this past spring. It’s hard to predict, but they could certainly sneak into a semifinalist spot.

9:00 a.m. — Walton H.S., GA
Walton has become one of the best Georgia bands in the past few years. They’re one of those bands that are right on the bubble and could find themselves in or out of semifinals, depending on how the numbers fall out. If 19 bands from Thursday advance to semis, it’s possible we could see Walton out of semis, but if a few more Friday bands advance, they’ll certainly be included in that group.

9:15 a.m. — DeSoto Central H.S., MS
It looks like there are some open class AAA representative spots on Friday, and DeSoto Central is one of the bands that could earn one. The band was in finals at the Clarksville Regional and finished 21st in St. Louis just a few weeks later.

9:30 a.m. — Blue Springs H.S., MO
In 2015, Blue Springs became the only Missouri band to ever make Grand National finals. This year, they’re back and, with the right pair of performances, could be able to push into the top half of finals. Regardless of where they end up placing, their show is so much fun to watch and you do not want to miss it.

10:00 a.m. — The Woodlands H.S., TX
The 2013 national champion will once again make the trip to Grand Nats, and you will not want to miss them. They’ve been steadily making up for lost time since Hurricane Harvey hit in late August, and you can expect them to make huge gains from their San Antonio performances to their runs here at Grand Nats.

Friday Block 2 (12 bands, 10:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.)

There are a couple of good groups to watch during this block. First, you’ll see a strong Texas program that you won’t want to miss. Then the second Hawaii band traveling to Indy this year, and a couple of bands closer to home that have pretty good chances of earning a semifinals spot.

10:45 a.m. — Prosper H.S., TX
Prosper has taken the unusual step of not competing in any BOA events this season in advance of their trip to Grand Nats, so we only have past performance and local competition results to look at. However, it seems like they’re bringing another strong show this year, and could certainly be one of the top 11 bands on Friday that are guaranteed a semifinals spot regardless of scores.

11:45 a.m. — Mililani H.S., HI
The second of two Hawaii bands making the trek to Grand Nats, Mililani actually has some BOA history, earning 42nd place just two years ago when they last attended Grand Nats.

12:15 p.m. — Lakota West H.S., OH
Lakota West has made finals at the Toledo Regional the last two years, and most recently finished in second behind consistent national finalist William Mason at the MSBA championships last weekend.

12:45 p.m. — Panther Creek H.S., NC
Many people were shocked when Fort Mill beat Dobyns-Bennett at Winston-Salem this year, but Panther Creek had actually pulled off that feat one time before! In 2014, the group edged out DB in prelims, before falling to second in finals. If they are able to secure a semifinals spot, it wouldn’t be the band’s first time. During that impressive 2014 season, they also managed to secure a spot in national semifinals and they could do it again this year.

Friday Block 3 (12 bands, 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.)

Make sure you are back after your mid-afternoon snack break for block three, because it is solid from beginning to end. You’ll get to see the band that holds the record for the longest streak of finals appearances in the country and will be looking to keep this historic run going. Plus, you’ll see many other expected semifinalists that could advance based on either score or class representation.

2:45 p.m. — Marian Catholic H.S., IL
Marian Catholic performs at the Indianapolis Super Regional on Oct. 21, 2017, at Lucas Oil Stadium. // Photo by Jace Hook
It’s never a good idea to predict against Marian Catholic. They’re one of only a few bands in the nation who make humongous strides in the final weeks of the season. So whatever you thought of their show at Indy Super or even last week, it will seem like you’re watching a completely different show by Grand Nats.

3:00 p.m. — Central Hardin H.S., KY
Central Hardin earned sixth place at the Clarksville Regional earlier this season, just one of their many regional finals appearances. They’ve also made consistent appearances at Grand Nats, finishing just out of semis each time. As a class AAA band performing on Friday, however, this could be their chance to earn a semifinals spots based on class representation by finishing as one of the top two scoring bands in AAA on Friday.

3:30 p.m. — Beechwood H.S., KY
Beechwood is a frequent national semifinalist, earning many class placements, and is even a former class A national champion. They should be able to earn another semifinals position this year based on class representation.

4:00 p.m. — Plymouth-Canton E.P., MI
PCEP has a long history of excellence at BOA events including multiple national championships and many appearances in national finals. Most recently, the band earned a semifinals spot at last year’s national championships and finished fourth at the Toledo Regional earlier this season.

5:00 p.m. — North Hardin H.S., KY
North Hardin held their own against consistent semifinalists Castle and Franklin at the Clarksville Regional earlier this season, placing slightly ahead of Franklin in prelims and third in finals. We expect them to advance to semis based on score, like their 25th place finish last year. But since they are a class AA band, they could fall just short in terms of score and still advance to semifinals be placing as one of the top two bands in class AA on Friday.

Friday Block 4 (13 bands, 6:15 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.)

The final prelims block is one with heavy semifinals implications. This block is full of band hoping to earn a coveted semifinals spot whether based on score, or by placing among the top two bands in their class on their day.

6:15 p.m. – Lake Central H.S., IN
Despite missing semifinals last season, Lake Central appears to be on track to jump back in to semis this season, no doubt with a little help from a Friday performance slot. The band finished sixth at Toledo earlier this season and has done well in Indiana state competitions as well.

7:15 p.m. — Fishers H.S., IN
Following successful finals appearances at Indy Super a few weeks ago and last year, Fishers will be looking to make an a national semifinals appearance, and they can certainly do it. While it appears there will be more semifinalists from Thursday than Friday, if Fishers can place among the top 11 bands on Friday, they are guaranteed a spot in prelims regardless of what happens on Friday.

7:30 p.m. — Milford H.S., OH
As a class AAA band, Friday is the best day to be this year. Even if they aren’t able to advance to semifinals based on score, Milford may still earn a semifinals spot based on class representation, if they place top two in class on Friday.

8:45 p.m. — Miamisburg H.S., OH
Miamisburg is another lucky AAA band getting to perform on Friday. Like Milford they have the opportunity to advance to semis based on class representation. But it’s also possible Miamisburg could advance based on score like they did in 214.

9:15 p.m. — Cary H.S., NC
Cary earned a finals position at the Powder Springs Regional and was first band out of finals at the Winston-Salem Regional a few weeks later. They’re in the large group of bands fighting for a small number of semifinals spots. They’re also the last band to compete in prelims, so after they perform make sure you stick around for the prelims awards ceremony and announcement of semifinalists.

Semifinals Predictions
Thursday Top 11: Avon, Broken Arrow, Carmel, Castle, Dobyns-Bennett, Franklin, Homestead, Marcus, O'Fallon Township, Union, and William Mason.

Friday Top 11: Blue Springs, Fishers, Flower Mound, Marian Catholic, North Hardin, Owasso, Panther Creek, Plymouth-Canton, Prosper, The Woodlands, and Walton.

Next 8: Centerville (Thur.), Center Grove (Thur.), Fort Mill (Thur.), James F. Byrnes (Thur.), Lake Central (Fri.), Lawrence Township (Thur.), Round Rock (Thur.), and Winston Churchill (Thur.)

Class Reps:
Thursday A: Adair County and Bellbrook.
Thursday AA: Jenison and Lake Hamilton.
Friday A: Beechwood and Union City.
Friday AAA: Central Hardin and Miamisburg.

Finals Predictions
1. Carmel H.S., IN
2. Avon H.S., IN
3. Flower Mound H.S., TX
4. Broken Arrow H.S., OK
5. Marcus H.S., TX
6. Blue Springs H.S., MO
7. Homestead H.S., IN
8. Castle H.S., IN
9. The Woodlands H.S., TX
10. Union H.S., OK
11. O'Fallon Township H.S., IL
12. Marian Catholic H.S., IL

Adjudication Panel
Music: David Carbone, Levi Chavis, Gino Cipriani, Wayne Dillon, Glenn Fugett, Marty Griffin, Jay Kennedy, Jarrett Lipman, Travis Moddison, John Phillips, Jeremy Spicer, and Daniel Wood.
Visual: Lee Carlson, William Chumley, Curtis Costanza, Michael Gray, John Howell, Bruce Jones, Tim Ochran, Michael Stone, and Bob Thomas.
Chief: Gary Markham.

17 comments:

  1. I think flomo is gonna have a good shot at 1st

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    1. Have you considered the fact that they lost to Avon at San Antonio this past weekend? It would take some serious work to pull out 1st place.

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    3. They were beaten by a small margin and beat Avon in prelims.

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  2. Best of luck to Cary High and Panther Creek. Represent NC!

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  3. Is this year of grand nationals more competitive or less competitive?

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    1. As far as the finals bubble goes, it's definitely more competitive. If you mean in general, I'd say a little bit more if not almost the same.

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    2. I agree the finals bubble is massive and are all really good but the top 6 probably won't have that tie like last year.

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  4. Good luck Carmel and Avon High Schools and all other Indiana High Schools

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  5. Pulling for James F Byrnes today and wishing Ft. Mill, Winston Churchill and Broken Arrow the best of luck!

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  6. Y’all down played BA placing them in 4th. Better be updating that soon. With that finals performance they deserved 1st.

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    1. No they didn't Carmel won prelims semis and finals and they swept finals captions. I'm pretty sure they deserved it. Also they more downplayed Dobyns Bennett as they were predicted not to make finals and they received 6th

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  7. lmao Dobyns-Bennett HS got 6 and 7th place in finals

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    1. It's called the author of horn rank doesn't check his spelling and correctness when posting things. This morning carmels score was listed as "(9)" not (97.500)

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