March 20, 2024

March 20th, 2024 Wednesday Wrap Up (Sarah Takeover, AKC Nationals, Side by Side Wit Vs Soda Pop)

Sarah Here!

Hello everyone! It’s Sarah and I’ve taken over the Wednesday Wrap Up for the week! So you can look forward to a lot of exclamation points and grammar that will drive Esteban nuts. But you can also look forward to DATA and NUMBERS! 🙂

The Wrap-Up Podcast

If you’re interested in hearing about the event from the perspective of a finalist, be sure to listen to this week’s NAC Wrap-Up podcast. Esteban, Jennifer and I talk all about the event, the surface, the courses, and the winners.


Qualifying Rate

During this podcast, Esteban mentioned that he thought the qualifying rate for the finals was too high. Was he too harsh? A look at the data shows that the finals Q-rate was, for the most part, higher than last year, but with the exception of the 24″ class, it wasn’t wildly different.

Fellow numbers nerd Kathy Heck did a similar analysis for the preliminary rounds which I’ve included below with permission (thanks Kathy!):

Photo Finishes

In the podcast, we also discussed the incredible battle of runs in the 20″ class where the winning time was only .009 seconds (9 milliseconds) faster than the second place time. Esteban wondered if we could trust the electronic eyes to be that accurate, while my opinion was that this is precisely why we NEED electronic timing. After the podcast I looked up the specifications for the timers and discovered that they are accurate to 0.062 milliseconds, so we can rest assured the correct dog won.

The Regular Finals Winners [Click HERE for Finals Results]

8” Winner Janelle Julyan and Pembroke Welsh Corgi Chelsea (Time 36.105)
Chelsea and Janelle tackled this course and burst through the Corgi class ceiling! The last time a corgi won the Championship title in the regular class was 2001 (Kay Jackson and Sam). Since 2000, the title has gone to 19 Papillion, 2 Pembroke Welsh Corgi (including Chelsea), 1 Toy Poodle, and 1 Toy Fox Terrier. Chelsea was seeded literally right in the middle of the 8″ class proving that once you get into the finals, it’s all about keeping your head and running your course!

12” Winner Angie Benacquisto and All American Sundae (Time 29.710)
Angie and Sundae came into this event 2-time National Agility Champions, but it’s been a few years. Having earned the title in 2017 and 2018, Angie found herself in the Challengers Round in 2019, 2021, 2022, and 2023 where faults kept her out of finals. This year Angie sailed into Finals “the easy way”—three clean runs. She placed 1st in standard, 1st in jumpers, 2nd in hybrid, and then captured her 3rd National Agility Champion for Sundae! Angie and Sundae were one of 4 teams to break the 30 second barrier.

16” Winner Jada Sawhney and BC Zula (Time 29.020)
Jada and Zula had a storybook Nationals. Jada is a 17 year old junior handler and one of our Bad Dog Agility Sponsored Athletes, so we were THRILLED to support her during an amazing weekend. She kicked things off with a big win in Premier beating out 164 16″ dogs to earn $262 in prize money! Jada ran clean run in Standard and a won the Hybrid class, but a bobble in Jumpers meant she would have to get to Finals “the hard way”, through Challengers. After winning the Challengers round, she finished with a blistering time in Finals that would end up being the fastest in all height. It’s interesting to note that last year’s fastest time also came from the 16″ class, though it was a different dog/handler team.

20” Winner Perry DeWitt and BC Wit (Time 29.536)
Perry and Wit came to Nationals as the defending champion. In three rounds, Wit did not have any placements, which is a testament to the speed and depth of the competition in the 20″ height class. Cumulatively over the three preliminary rounds, Wit was 4th. In my opinion, Perry won the title at jumps #4 and #16 where she did an outstanding job of controlling those turns. The difference in time was an unfathomable 0.009 seconds or 9 milliseconds between Wit and 2nd place Soda Pop handled by Gloria Krueger (Time 29.545). I would say that a blink of an eye separated them, but it turns out that a blink lasts 100 milliseconds, over 10 times as long as the difference between these two amazing dogs. In addition to Wit and Soda pop, the 3rd and 4th place dogs also broke the 30 second mark, Andy Winther and Zoom-Zoom (29.873) and Lindsey Anne-Marie and Maze Runner (29.933).

24” Winner Lori Barbee and Weimaraner Sterling (Time 33.565)
Lori and Sterling were the final Champion crowned. Sterling had a solid NAC performance with 3 clean runs, no placements, and went into the Finals seeded 4th. Lori ran a really nice finals run with efficient turns and some gutsy blind crosses given the size of the dog!

The Preferred Finals Winners [Click HERE for Finals Results]

  • P4” Antonia Rotelle and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Zoom (Time 39.288)
  • P8” Tim Pinneri and English Cocker Spaniel Tinker Bell (Time 35.239)
  • P12” Naci Berkoz and All American Monkey Joe (Time 36.192)
  • P16” Adriana Nottestad and BC Gambit (Time 31.226)
  • P20” Rachel Evers and Labrador Gator (Time 33.693)

What did you think of this year’s Nationals? What Q-rate do you think is appropriate for a finals course? Email me your thoughts at!

Happy Training,

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