By Jeff Fiedler, DCN Staff

George Zingalli's Quasar color guard of Revere, Massachusetts, came and captured the first Winter Guard International Olympics crown, making them the true best in the world of color guard. Quasar fought off a strong finals challenge from Rockford, Illinois, Phantom Regimemt and Death Vardar, to retain the first place position established during prelims...

...The competition for the crown came as Illinois Phantom Regiment entered the gym to setup. The music of "Star Wars" began and up from the middle of the crowd emerged Lord Darth Vadar!!!! Woman screamed in fear and then a standing ovation followed. Instructor John Brazale had brought out his secret weapon, that little extra touch to finish off the almost complete theme show. In the four hours between prelims and finals, bits and pieces of the drill had been modified and the extra touch had been added. Darth was dressed in complete costume, including a lit light sabre. As Vadar took his/her place on the floor, the Regiments show began.

It was probably the best performance put on by those girls in their lives. Many thought that right then and there that Phantom Regiment had done it. The left the floor to a standing ovation and no equipment drops (compared with six in prelims). They also left with a better than great shot at the crown. But, as they found out later, not this year: 2nd 93.733 (0.0 pen).

The crowd at the first
WGI Championship
1978 Finals-Chicago, IL
Quasar, MA 94.46
Phantom Regiment, IL 93.73
Seattle Imperials, WA91.46
Colts, IA 91.20
St. Anthony's Imperials, MA88.26
Marcus Whitman HS, NY85.63
Buccaneers, WI83.60
Cavaliers, IL82.70
Golden Knights, IL81.70
Conquistadors, CA80.33
Lindenairs, NY78.20
Valiants, IL77.73
Accents, WI76.40
Fox Vally Raiders, IL74.00
Norwin Knights, PA73.40

How could anyone follow that? Colts of Dubuque, Iowa, tried, and fared pretty well. In prelims, Colts had taken third place with a great show and 922.300, nine-tenths out of second. Their finals performance was not as stunning as their prelims performance, but it was still excellent. Especially enjoyable, besides the exchange ending was a little extra disappearing act near the end of the show that had many in the crowd rolling in the aisles. Those who don't understand should watch SOAP a few times to see. Colts moved to 4th, 91.200, (0.4 pen).

Seattle Imperials of Seattle, Washington, appeared next. Their use of time, space, equipment, dance and the human body was art in motion. The closing of "Sweet Georga Brown" was a gas and the backup before leaving was the icing on the cake. A mixed reaction from a mixed crowd might have put a damper on some of the applause, but all in all, Imperials were in top form, 3rd, 91.460 (0.3 pen).

Quasar of Revere, Massachusetts, performed last. Quasar's prelims performance had been super and the crowd was expecting a repeat. They got one. "Open Sesame" started the show which included some disco, a lot of great sabre work, great coordination and a few (more than a few) double flags. Especially impressive was the flags spinning on their backsides, around legs, etc. The sabres were fantastic, as were the rifles. The ins and outs, done alternately between the sabres and rifles were neat, and those two little discoers in the center were tops. Zingalli's "Zars" were probably one of the least expected of the top guards to take it all this year, back at the beginning of the season. They came a long way fast and showed the deserved it. Congratulations to the first Winter Guard International Olympics Champions, Quasar of Revere, Massachusetts: 94.467 (0.1pen).

after the announcment

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