CTJ wins second regional champion title of the season

Sept. 30, 2018 at 11:58 p.m. CT

CTJ wins second regional champion title of the season

By Jeremiah Wooten

Claudia Taylor Johnson was named regional champion of the Austin Regional Saturday night at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex. The band also claimed the general effect caption in finals.

CTJ's color guard performs in finals at the Austin Regional on Sept. 29, 2018, at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex. // Photo by Jeremiah Wooten
Despite an afternoon weather delay that pushed back more than half of the bands’ preliminary performance times, BOA was able to accommodate a full prelims and finals competition. This was due in part to an abbreviated timing interval — scheduling bands to step off just 12 minutes apart instead of the usual 15. While this shorter interval wouldn’t be possible during later regionals or super regionals, at this early-season event, most bands did not have an their entire show on the field yet.

However, Johnson (83.75) did have their entire show on the field, all 12 minutes of it! (Maybe even 13, if you include all of the preshow.) Just like last season, CTJ decided to put the entire show on the field and wait until October to clean and perfect. It’s a strategy that seemed to pay off last year, when they went on to win the San Antonio Super Regional.

Second-place Leander (83.10) earned the music caption in finals. This was a huge improvement from last year’s Austin Regional, where Leander finished in fourth and more than 3 points behind Johnson. If they continue to improve, they could find themselves back in the top half of finals, and perhaps even earning a medal in San Antonio.

Vandegrift (82.30) won another medal this year, finishing in third place overall. They achieved as high as second-place in general effect, and were ranked #1 by one of the music effect judges.

Vista Ridge's trombone soloist performs in finals at the Austin Regional on Sept. 29, 2018, at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex. // Photo by Jeremiah Wooten
Just a quarter of a point out of a medal, Vista Ridge (82.05), actually won the visual caption, and earned second behind Leander in the music caption. That means they actually beat the regional champion in two of the three captions, not shabby for the group that finished tenth at the same regional last year. If they continue performing at this level, Vista Ridge should have no trouble returning to finals at San Antonio, their first appearance in super regional finals since 2014.

James Bowie (80.05) earned fifth place, returning to the top half of finals after slipping to ninth last season. The band earned as high as third in individual visual and fourth in the visual caption, and finished almost 3 points ahead of sixth place.

In alphabetical conformity, Cedar Park (77.10) and Cedar Ridge (67.60) finished sixth and seventh, separated by only half a point. The difference between the two almost perfectly broke down along music vs. visual. Cedar Park had the upper hand from all three visual judges, while Cedar Ridge had the upper hand from 3 of the four music judges.

Hendrickson (75.65) had another strong showing, finishing in eighth place overall, but has high as sixth in music performance and seventh in visual performance. The Hawk band held a gap of over 2 points over the ninth and tenth place bands.

The final two bands were separated by just 0.05 points. Winston Churchill (73.60) and Round Rock (73.55) earned ninth and tenth place, respectively, sealing all 10 of last year’s finalists back in finals this year.

Two other bands performed under the lights during finals: Ann Richards and Rouse high schools. Each earned the class champion title for their respective classes in prelims, and performed in exhibition at the end of finals.