In what was the tightest contest in the memories of Dr. Mickey Ransom (KSU) and Dr. Doug Malo (SDSU) - together with over 70 years of Soil Judging experience - UMN was the only school with 5 judgers in the top 20. Only ~ 140 points separated the first and last of all 7 teams out of a total of over 2,200 points. Sara Bauer took 3rd place in individual judging and Cassie Tieman took 10th. The top 3 scores out of all 68 judgers on the 2nd individual pit were all UMN.
Nonetheless - such is the random component of Soil Judging - the coach (yours truly) did not make the correct choice of 4 scoring members the night prior to the contest, (typically based on performance on practice pits and previous experience (or some combination thereof)) and so the Gophers missed out on qualifying for Nationals by less than 5% of the overall points.
Regardless, the journey was so enjoyable and the team so cohesive this year that we couldn't stand to leave Redfield immediately after the contest - besides, the weather was beautiful! We actually travelled back to one of the contest pits (a Natrustoll) to further study the excellent columnar structure in a Btn horizon underlying an E horizon.
|Columnar structure in a Btn horizon underlaying an E in a Natrustoll|
Not wanting to really hit the road and declare the week over, the team posed for one last picture.
|Gopher Pride and Columnar structure!|
Be at one with your texture triangles.