This all comes, of course, after a day that saw us leaving our hotel at 6:45am for the team contest sites, competing, packing, and the awards ceremony. As if being intellectually challenging wasn't enough, the sites were physically taxing as well; one was up a mountain (I know West Virginians would consider it a "hill" but I had to climb up it with all my gear, so I say it's a mountain) and the rain poured throughout our time at the second site, which made texturing, coloring, and everything else associated with soil judging, difficult (for future reference, "waterproof scorecards" will prevent your pencil lead from smearing, but not from tearing the writing surface from the page, #crisis).
Following the contest, checking out of the hotel, and lunch, we made it back to campus in time for the 2:00 awards ceremony. We were disappointed when the ceremony didn't start until 3:40 and even more disappointed to find that we did not place in the top five for Team or Overall and none of us placed in the top ten for Individual. Sad day. Apparently, there was a fragipan present at the second site; we didn't identify it and that cost us quite a few points at that site.
At the time of this posting, the officials haven't circulated the full rankings, so we're still fairly in the dark as far as how we did. We did get our graded scorecards back; there was a lot of frustrated sighing and grumbling in the car as we looked them over, as we had made some silly mistakes. I, for example, identified a Cr horizon, but didn't list Residuum as the parent material. Why? No idea. Maybe I cracked under the pressure. That wasn't even the site where I ripped my pants, dropped my samples, and lost my trowel.
Regardless of our score, we all had a blast and appreciate the opportunity to compete at the national level. We hope you've enjoyed following our progress along the way! Keep checking back, as there will certainly be more posts, pictures, and videos (!) in the coming days.