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16 April 2017: "Happy Easter"

#7 David Gutierrez Pena sent in two Baby Park times, a 1'02"9 and a 8"31 lap. David is really making us second-guess who is the best Baby racer. His 1lap is slightly faster than Mike's, and his 7lap is 0"03 behind.

#23 Frederic Vernier continued where he left off last week, focusing on a few weak tracks. He improved his Peach Beach lap from 34th to 23rd place after closely studying Mike's WR strategy, and cut three standards off his course time to upgrade from Myth B to God level with a 1'08"2, no doubt also thanks to careful study. His other improvement was a new top-25 Mushroom Bridge lap, his 19th top-25 time. Frederic is 0.03 points away from a promotion in ARR.

#82 Joseph Armstrong overtook #84 Joost with a strong 13pt AF cut, borne from just 4 PRs. He improved his Peach Beach times twice during the week, going from 1'09"1 (74th) to 1'08"8 (46th) and making a minor cut in the lap. His workhorse was Bowser's Castle, though, which he had last played 6 months ago and had fallen to 250+ ranking in both lap and course. His new times of 2'21"3 and 45"9 were nearly 200 positions higher. The good news for Joseph's rivals is that he doesn't have any such weak tracks left, whereas the bad news is that he's run away with the lead already. Joseph reached 32/32 Hero and Titan B overall this week with 22/32 Titans to his name.

#84 Joost Coenen lost one spot to Joseph but passed 5 players to close in on the top-75. There are four fellow Dutch players ahead of him -- Jerrol, Koen, Bart & Steven Z -- that could motivate Joost to aim for loftier ground. He spent some time practicing Baby Park and the "correct" way to use the shrooms around the turns, which resulted in a jump from 122nd to 88th place there. Three other highlights were three upgrades from Hero to Titan with 1'29"3 Mario Circuit, 1'45"9 Jungle 3lap, and 34"0 Jungle lap. He also improved his Mushroom City and Mario Circuit laps, but they were already Titans. Joost reached 22/32 Titans to equal Joseph's effort, and both need to chase down their last 10 Heroes.

#115 Hugh Moorehead reported his first new times in four weeks, with his free time possibly stolen by either Zelda or study or both. He promised to be "properly playing" in early May, so he's anticipating making a stronger comeback. For now, his new times were a 1'09"9 and 22"2 Peach Beach, 1'06"1 Baby Park, and 59"2 Rainbow lap. The Beach course time was his first sub-1'10 and a new Titan; the lap was a new top-100 time; Baby Park was a jump of 60 positions albeit still Hero level; Rainbow was an improvement from 151st to 99th place. Each cut had its own little story to tell and Hugh passed 4 players in the rankings.

#129 Dennis Colvin spent too much time playing MK64 and MKSC that he only had time for 2 PRs in Double Dash. His 8"45 Baby Park lap was a super cut from 57th to 16th place and his 2'01"7 Wario Colosseum was his first time sub-2'02. Dennis passed #131 Piet dD with these cuts but said that he's not sure if he has it in him to go for top-100.

#221 Vincent Audoore reported 11 new times and a 9pt AF cut, just enough to stay ahead of #223 Ben S. He got a new top-250 times in Luigi Circuit and Mushroom Bridge lap, and new Heroes in Peach Beach and DK Mountain lap. The DK lap of 35"8, ranked 161st, became his new best time and corresponding 1'51"0 3lap (185th) was close behind. They are Vincent's only top-200 times. Previously his top time was Dino Dino Jungle lap, still ranked 204th. Additional cuts in Waluigi Stadium and Bowser's Castle leave him with only 4 remaining Hero Bs, his weakest standard remaining.

#223 Ben Stoneman's 9pt AF cut almost gave him a win on Vincent, finishing 1 AF point behind. Ben passed 9 players with his 10 PRs, and the highlights were a pair on Mario Circuit of 1'31"1 (new top-200 time, new Hero) and 28"8 lap (top-150), and a pair on Mushroom City of 1'38"9 and 32"4 (both top-200 and new Heroes). The Mario lap overtakes Jungle lap as Ben's best time by 11 positions, and was his first Hero B.

#239 Gerardo Arroyo had a few weeks of results to report, condensing 21 PRs into a single cut of 45pt points. He reached Expert A status in ARR and passed 61 players. His success was due to focusing entirely on his weak links and he improved 9 tracks from 300+ level to top-300, leaving only Baby Park and Rainbow 3lap as the only 300+ times left. Gerardo beat a few of these targets by just the required amounts (e.g. 298th in Bowser's Castle, 297th in Wario Colosseum), but a few tracks were crushed by big cuts, most notably Mushroom Bridge lap, which he improved from 337th to 193rd place, and Sherbet Land lap, which he improved from 351st to 214th.

#251 Jean-Christophe Leger took a break from Smash to race his first set of new times since January. His goal was to get back inside the top-250, which nearly worked out except that he didn't account for Gerardo storming ahead of him. Jean-Christohe's 7 PRs amounted to an 8pt AF cut, and he missed #250 Bryan B by a mere 0.2 points. His best cut was in DK Mountain, where he improved from 351st to 222nd with a new 1'52" 3lap time, and he also reached Expert A level overall.

#306 Steven Schumann reported a dozen forgotten PRs from recent weeks for a total 23pt AF cut. This nearly gave him a top-300 position and helped him reduce the gap to #301 Stephen De Winter. Among the 11 PRs was the defeat of his last remaining Advanced time on Dino Dino Jungle to earn 32/32 Expert, as well as large 90+ position cuts with 1'18"9 Luigi Circuit, 1'43"1 Daisy Cruiser, 33"7 Daisy Cruiser lap, and 1'50"6 Dino Dino Jungle. Steven's 0.4pt ARR cut brings him very close to a promotion, and of course he is also on the verge of a top-300 spot.

#344 Oliver Apel completed his timesheet to earn a spot on the ladder and race ahead to an Expert C title. He also beat 8 of his existing times, most notably Sherbet Land lap and both Rainbow Roads since they were all cuts of 100+ positions. His best time appears to be the new Waluigi lap, which is almost top-150 quality, and is followed by his top-250 lap in Wario Colosseum. I guess he likes the villains?

#381 Sam Smith wants to go out with a bang, having initially only aimed for a top-500 place to help his Combined Ranks position. His 44pt AF cut this week pulled him all the way up into the top-400, surpassing his goals. Sam says that he will cut back but may play some more in the future. Among his 23 new PRs, Sam beat his last 6 remaining 500+ ranked times, raised him tally of top-400 times from 6 to 10, and improved his best track, Wario Colosseum, from 363rd to 287th and the lap to 266th. Sam also became an Expert D in the process, permanently outgrowing the Advanced ranks. Since he was racing some of his best times this week, and almost scored a top-250 time, you would have to say that he has lots of potential left. Let's hope he still plays every so often.

#423 Anthony Guerrero reported a humongous 106pt AF cut with first submission in a month. He subsequently beat 10 of his PRs later in the week, so it was a mix of older and brand new scores. Although he has 9 top-300 times now, his Peach Beach and Baby Park times remain far beyond the rest of his efforts since they are each top-100 level: 1'09"0 and 22"2 in Peach Beach are at least Titan A level, and his 1'05"8 course time in Baby Park squeezed into 99th spot. More big cuts like this are sure to come since Anthony still has a number of times ranked 750+.

#591 Russell Horwood gathered four weeks of PRs and reported 29 changes to his timesheet, enough to reach Advanced C level and pass 70 players in the process. Rainbow Road was the only track that didn't receive treatment and is lagging behind at Beginner A level, but the rest of the timesheet is progressing: with 27/32 Advanced right now, Russell has only Rainbow and 4 Intermediate As to nudge across the Advanced line. Russell seems to have spent some effort ironing out anomalies, with almost all times fitting inside the 550-700 high Advanced range. One score that did better was a 1'55"5 Dino Dino Jungle run, ranked 498th, which was his first top-500 time.

#905 Nathan Armstrong, younger brother of #82 Joseph, sent in his first times in 10 months. He filled all holes in his debut timesheet and earned a Beginner A title, which was a welcome upgrade from Newbie. Nathan has a good coach in Jack, but may not be getting enough free time with the Cube to have a serious shot of challenging his brother on any track.

New Records

David P's 8"313 Baby Park lap was a new overall and 60Hz WR. He said he raced it out of the blue, an unexpectedly big cut on his previous second-placed time of 8"34. Mike's 8"316 lap, the former record, was raced exactly two months ago. Frederic V, Ryan S, Paul T, Mikael J, Jacob P, Andrew M, and Kouider B and the remaining players who have also raced sub-8"4 yet David and Mike are the only ones with sub-8"35.

New Players

Welcome to...

Alexandre Dieudegard, France (~1180, Beginner D).
Elizabeth Gjurova, Belgium (#993, Beginner A).

Alexandre has only played Yoshi Circuit, where his times are in the Advanced-Intermediate range. Elizabeth is a friend of #221 Vincent A and completed a full timesheet on his console. She has mostly Beginner times with one break-out Intermediate lap on Peach Beach.