Mar 27, 2009

Quals Preview

Everyone LOVES the big race but this blog says you can keep it. Qualifications day is where it is AT! It’s without doubt the most exciting day of the year. The emotions and drama are there for ten straight hours! The day has it all; incredible speed, wince-worthy-wrecks, cringe-inducing fouls, heart-raising achievement and soul destroying disappointment.
There's more on the line for the Men’s teams on this day than on any other. Oh yeah those good teams might think nothing can go wrong but before you get too cocky go and talk to Steve Ziemba about his 2007 race (defending champs ATO didn’t qual that year). For the teams on the bubble, it’s an agonizing day as all the hard work you have put in since Christmas will be for naught unless you get in the top 33.
A little known but cruel story played out in 2006. The Men’s ACC team rode at 8am that year and was of course top of the leader board for a brief time. Throughout the day they slowly dropped down the board until at around 6pm, a full ten hours after they rode, the final team of the day (BKB on their third attempt) pushed them off the bottom and into 34th position. That was cruel and unusual indeed.
Anyone watching last years race might have wondered why everyone worries about getting a good qualifying position. There were no big wrecks and the teams who started 16th and 17th were leading after half a lap of the race (BKB and Dodds). However the clear importance in qualifying well is to increase your chances of avoiding the wrecks that could happen on the first few laps. The opposite to 2008 occurred in 2005 when a huge wreck in turn 1 took all but 7 teams out of contention for the race victory………after less than 100meters! Of course you can be unlucky even if you take the Pole but in general the better the starting position the lesser chance of hitting the cinders!

Qual well- avoid this!

So what can be expected from this years addition of Quals?

There are 41 Men’s teams and 31 Women’s teams meaning 8 Men’s teams won’t make it and will be wishing they could take the two empty Womens places instead!

Expect drama to the very end of the day as 13 of the final 16 teams are Men’s teams. At 3pm a maximum of 28 teams will be in the race, less than 3 hours later 8 of those will be GONE!

Expect less drama between 10am and 11am when 9 of 11 teams will be Women. This blog loves the women’s race but outside the top 20 teams, women’s quals is pretty much a joke. IUSF should admit one less team into the race than try to qualify in order to force some girls to learn how to do an exchange!

So onto the picks! It’s almost impossible to accurately predict quals so this blog will group teams into how we think they will perform-

Riding for the Win- Cutters, DTD, BKB, Gray Goat, PDT, ATO, Phi Psi.
Comfortably in the Race- Beta, Fiji, DSP, Kappa Sigma, Sammie, DU, VD, Dodds, Wright, Acacia.
Happy to make the Dance- The Rest- Good luck guys.

And the Women-
Riding for the Win- Teter, KD, DG, KKG, Theta. DSP.
Top 13- Zeta, Gamma Phi, Alpha Phi, Army, AoPi, CoUCH, Wing-it
Top 20- Phi Mu, ChiO, Pi Phi, AGD, A-ChiO, Athena, Team Rev.

But then what the hell do I know?
Good luck to one and all!

Look out for semi-live updates throughout the day tomorrow for those people away from Bloomington!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How about one of those semi-live updates on Little500 quals?