2. SOUP is coming up in a little over a month, and top schools like Troy and Mason will be attending, alongside Boca. I feel an accurate assessment of how good Boca is against top competition will be found after the UPenn scores are revealed. With regionals the following week, Boca will have to make sure that its builds are good three weeks in a row (GGSO, UPenn, Regionals), which may strain their performance at the latter competition.
I can give some context to this point, in relation to Balsa events, and why I don't think this will be as big of a deal this year:
Last year, Boca High Team 1 didn't have two balsa builders on Team 1 till the first week of February, a few months after Team 1 was made, but our performance and pace improved greatly (even when we had Princeton, Regionals, and Cornell three weeks in a row), when we added a second balsa builder. This year, Boca has had 2 balsa builders on the team since the team was formed. They are extremely talented and able to work at a fast pace, so I actually expect their build quality to stay consistent, and improve significantly as the year goes on, regardless of the challenge and intensity of the team's schedule.
They also beat Archimedian A by more than 50 points and OSS by nearly 100, and even got two events to medal, plus medal in a trial; not to mention beating other solid teams like Mentor. It will be interesting to see if Archimedian A is in a race for first versus Boca A or a race for second against Boca B and OSS. There is an extremely legitimate chance that Boca can claim both first and second in the state once again. The season is a long way from over, and all teams have areas to improve. It comes down to whichever team takes control of their events and has the drive- whether it be knowing Boca was one place away from first or Archimedean and OSS having faith that they can beat both Boca teams- and each other- to qualify for nationals. And we haven't even discussed Archimedian B (despite their incredibly poor showing at MIT) and Cardinal Gibbons. This year will be fun.
I agree completely that Boca has a great opportunity to win back States, but I would note that Boca's Team 1 beat Archimedean A by 113 points at MIT last year, and Archimedean still beat us easily at States later on that season. In regards to your strong word choice about Archimedean B's "incredibly poor" showing at MIT, I would remind you that the same team beat our Team 1 in several events at States last year, which ended up being a significant factor in our Team 1 getting 2nd place, along with Cardinal Gibbons's exceptional performance in several study events that outplaced Boca High.