Ellie Blalock


Name: Ellie Blalock
Position: Page Editor
Graduation Year: 2005
Ellie is a SENIOR in the CAP program at Blair. She enjoys such activities as traveling, being able to say "water" in six languages and having heart-to-heart chats with eccentric politicians. If you're in need of a laugh, please ask Ellie about her driving record...you won't be disappointed. In conclusion, Ellie's favorite number is 11, and she really loves being LATVIAN...ej dirstu!


Stories (66)


Blazers caught up in the hive

By Ellie Blalock | May 13, 2005, midnight | In Print »

MAY 13, DAMASCUS- On this Friday the 13th first-round playoff game, luck was just not in the cards for the Blazers. Blair and Damascus seemed evenly matched through the top of the third inning, when the score was tied at 2-2. Yet for the rest of the game, Blair lost momentum and spirit, failing to score anymore runs and surrendering their defense to the power-hitting Hornets. The final score, 11-2, was evidence not only of how dominant Damascus played both in the field and at bat, but also of how unfocused the Blazers became as the score became more and more lopsided.

Blair edges out Knights

By Ellie Blalock | May 9, 2005, midnight | In Print »

MAY 9, BLAZER STADIUM- The winning run in the Blazers' 8-7 victory over the Wheaton Knights this game was unexpected and anticlimactic to say the least. Yet despite the fact that Blair waited until there were two outs in the seventh inning to clinch its victory over a weak Wheaton squad, it was a victory nonetheless, and one in which the efforts of many contributed to a solid result.

RM Rockets take baseball for a ride

By Ellie Blalock | April 13, 2005, midnight | In Print »

APRIL 13, BLAZER STADIUM - In their 11-8 loss to the Richard Montgomery Rockets, the Blazers held on until the very last minute, coming back from a three-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh to go into an eighth inning which lasted until well after ten p.m. on a chilly night. Yet it was not what the Blazers did in the final innings of this three and a half hour game that defined its tone and led to its result, but rather it was what they did not do in the early innings – find crucial holes in the outfield, communicate on routine fly balls and keep their pitching consistent – that cost them the game.

Blazers start the season off right

By Ellie Blalock | March 21, 2005, midnight | In Print »

MARCH 21, BLAZER STADIUM- Up until the bottom of the sixth inning of their 3-2 season-opener victory, Blair looked shaky out on the field. They were down by two after the Titans scored twice in the fifth inning, and were consistently stranding base runners.

Athletically sound and college bound

By Ellie Blalock | March 17, 2005, midnight | In Print »

When senior varsity girls basketball co-captain Brittany Higgins received her first college recruitment letter in her junior year, it meant not only that she was one step closer to playing college ball and hopefully to her dream of someday playing in the WNBA, but also that she had just become, in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) jargon, a "recruited prospective student athlete."

Varsity baseball takes the field

By Ellie Blalock | March 16, 2005, midnight | In Print »

The varsity baseball team is ready to kick off their 2005 season after ending with a winning 13-9 record last year. The boys\' first game will be March 21 at home at 3:30 p.m. against Einstein, typically a weaker team.

Blazers show grace under pressure

By Ellie Blalock | Feb. 26, 2005, midnight | In Print »

FEB. 26, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM- After so many sure-bets that turned into heart-breakingly close losses during the regular season, the Blair girls basketball team hoped to prove themselves worthy as they began their playoff run. They hoped to prove themselves to be what they really are: a group of talented players who have the ability to gel on court and make things happen in pressure situations.

Senior starters do not disappoint

By Ellie Blalock | Feb. 22, 2005, midnight | In Print »

FEB. 22, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM- It is no secret that this has been a rough season for the Blair girls basketball team. They began their first few games hopefully, yet then seemed to descend into a drought where opponents appeared unbeatable, no matter how close the Blair girls came to a win. Whether or not the drought is over is now the question, as in this game the Blazers faced a very weak Wheaton squad which put up almost no fight as the Blair girls cruised to an easy 48-19 victory.

Blazers let another slip by

By Ellie Blalock | Feb. 15, 2005, midnight | In Print »

FEB. 15, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM- The Blazers seemed to finally be turning their season around after defeating Sherwood and then Richard Montgomery, both strong squads, by margins of 28 and ten, respectively. However, after losing to powerhouse Gaithersburg Feb. 10, the girls seem to have returned to their old ways: remaining neck-and-neck with their opponents, pulling ahead for what looks like an easy win and finally watching it all fall apart in disastrous fourth quarters.

Blair blow-out breaks losing streak

By Ellie Blalock | Feb. 4, 2005, midnight | In Print »

FEB. 4, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM- For nine consecutive games the Blazers have been pummeled by opponents who always seemed to be one step ahead. They would fall behind in the first half and then gradually watch as their deficit mounted with each passing minute. On Friday night, however, the tables were turned. Blair soundly defeated the Sherwood Warriors 55-27 in a game that can only be described as a total team effort.

Bengals ice Blazers

By Ellie Blalock | Feb. 2, 2005, midnight | In Print »

FEB. 2, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM" The Blair girls have been through a lot this season, faced with an ever more dismal record and no obvious explanation as to why. The team is full of solid players who know the fundamentals and are ready to lead, yet somehow, the girls just can't put together what they need for a win. Perhaps it is a compounding sense of desperation after losing nine consecutive games which keeps the Blazers from putting together a solid offense and playing aggressively as they continue to fall just short of overtaking their opponents.

Blair suffers in formulaic defeat

By Ellie Blalock | Jan. 28, 2005, midnight | In Print »

JAN. 28, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM— Despite a few exceptions, this season has been painfully tough on the Blazers ever since they chalked up their first win against Einstein and a very satisfying victory on the road over B-CC. The Blazers are a squad full of talented players, yet when they get onto the court, something falls apart, leaving them with a dismal 3-12 record so far this season. Blair has not won a game at home since their opening-day victory over Einstein, leaving both fans and players constantly frustrated after each heart-breaking loss, much like they were Friday night, when Blair fell 60-45 to Springbrook.

Blazers feel painful sting of defeat

By Ellie Blalock | Jan. 21, 2005, midnight | In Print »

JAN. 21, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMASIUM" Everything was working out. The Blair girls were passing smoothly, making their shots and just plain doing what they needed to do to chalk up their first win at home since Dec. 7. Damascus was good, but not too good, and a win seemed very possible, if not probable. Even as the girls entered the fourth quarter tied at 37-37, the crowd and the team knew they could pull out a win.

Rockets' momentum leaves Blair behind

By Ellie Blalock | Jan. 14, 2005, midnight | In Print »

JAN. 14, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM" The Blair Blazers have had problems this season gelling on the court, failing to put together the smooth passes and accurate shots on offense they need to win games as well as the solid defense that will keep opponents in their sights and limit free-throw opportunities for other teams. Tonight was no different. The Blazers stuck with RM in a very physical match-up until mid-way through the second quarter, when they began to fade. As RM ran away with the game (winning 48-41), Blair saw an opportunity to redeem a lackluster season slip through their hands.

Blazers pounded by Magruder

By Ellie Blalock | Dec. 22, 2004, midnight | In Print »

DEC. 22, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM- The Blair girls' basketball squad was simply over-powered Wednesday night by a crisp and explosive Magruder team. Playing without senior phenom and co-captain Brittany Higgins forced many non-starters to step up and attempt to fill the void Higgins left in the Blazers offense after suffering an injury. Blair struggled throughout this game to put numbers up and overcome Magruder's aggressive man-to-man defense. However, a powerful opponent and team obstacles were not enough to ease the frustration inevitable in losing by a deficit of 23 points (38-61).

Girls' b-ball loses in nail-biter

By Ellie Blalock | Dec. 18, 2004, midnight | In Print »

DEC. 17, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM" Friday night's girls' basketball game found the Blazers on a non-stop roller coaster of emotions. First came frustration as the Wolverines scored key points in the first half; then came hope, when senior co-captain Brittany Higgins pulled her team out of its rut and into a comfortable lead with a flurry of lay-ups and three-pointers in the third quarter. Coming into the fourth quarter, the tone of Blair's game was proud"perhaps too much so"yet when Watkins Mill surprised Blair by evening up the score and sending the game into over-time, the Blazers got desperate. Despite eleven attempts during the four-minute over-time, Blair was only able to sink two lay-ups, and lost the game they had fought so very hard to control"by a margin of only eight points. The final score was 61-53.

Blazers kick off season in grand form

By Ellie Blalock | Dec. 7, 2004, midnight | In Print »

DEC. 7, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM— Tonight, the Blair girls began a brand-new season with what proved to be an exciting and ultimately very successful first game. Although the Blazers allowed Einstein far too many chances to score and potentially pull ahead, the Titans' poor shot-making and ball-handling skills as well as excessive turnovers allowed the Blair girls to hold onto their lead throughout the game and finish with a very respectable 53-36 victory.

Shut-out loss ends Blair post-season early

By Ellie Blalock | Oct. 28, 2004, midnight | In Print »

Second straight win for Blazer girls

By Ellie Blalock | Oct. 27, 2004, midnight | In Print »

Warriors slam Blazers

By Ellie Blalock | Oct. 15, 2004, midnight | In Print »

OCT. 15, BLAZER STADIUM—This afternoon, ominous storm clouds hung over Blazer Stadium throughout the girls' soccer team's tough loss to the Sherwood Warriors. The chilly weather mirrored the mood on the field, as the girls' weak offense allowed the Warriors to rest on two goals scored during the first half and eventually win the match 0-2.

Girls' Soccer decisively defeats Springbrook

By Ellie Blalock | Oct. 4, 2004, midnight | In Print »

OCT. 4, BLAZER STADIUM—After weeks of frustratingly close games stretching into double overtime and painfully lopsided losses, this 3-0 shut-out win for the Blair girls' soccer team was like a breath of fresh air, invigorating a talented young team which has faced multiple set-backs this season with optimism and a never-give-up attitude.

Blazers, Colonels leave game locked in dead heat

By Ellie Blalock | Sept. 22, 2004, midnight | In Print »

SEPT. 22, BLAZER STADIUM-Frustration was the only word to describe the sentiment on the field, on the bench and in the stands as the girls' soccer team repeatedly brought onlookers to the edges of their seats tonight in a neck-and-neck battle against a very physical Magruder team, only to leave play after play unfinished and miss multiple chances to score.

Blair girls defeated soundly in season-opener

By Ellie Blalock | Sept. 3, 2004, midnight | In Print »

SEPT 3, BLAZER STADIUM-Tonight the Blair girls' soccer team began its season on an unfortunately sour note, falling 0-6 to a very dominant Wootton squad. The first goal came within the first few minutes of the match, and left the Blair girls panicked and apprehensive. This tentativeness would hurt Blair later in the game, as Wootton's lead mounted and a comeback became more and more improbable.

American Idol - May 18

By Ellie Blalock Shewit Woldu | May 19, 2004, midnight | In Print »

Looking back on a legendary career

By Ellie Blalock | May 17, 2004, midnight | In Print »

Girls' varsity basketball Coach William Lindsey's office walls are plastered with photos. Smiling former and current Blazers beam widely, harkening back to the earliest seasons of Lindsey's 24-year career at Blair, a career which will draw to a close this year, as Lindsey ends a long and decorated chapter in the history of Blair athletics.

American Idol - May 11

By Ellie Blalock Adedeji Ogunfolu | May 12, 2004, midnight | In Print »

American Idol - May 4

By Ellie Blalock | May 5, 2004, midnight | In Print »

Thirteen D.C. police officers arrested this year

By Ellie Blalock | May 3, 2004, midnight | In Print »

Thirteen D.C. police officers have been arrested on various charges ranging from physical assault to drunk driving in the year 2004 alone according to a Washington Post article.

American Idol - April 27

By Ellie Blalock Shewit Woldu | April 28, 2004, midnight | In Print »

American Idol - April 20

By Ellie Blalock, Adedeji Ogunfolu, Shewit Woldu | April 21, 2004, midnight | In Print »

American Idol - April 14

By Ellie Blalock Shewit Woldu | April 15, 2004, midnight | In Print »

Freshman softball player profiled in Gazette

By Ellie Blalock | April 2, 2004, midnight | In Print »

Freshman Varsity Softball player Michelle Linford was profiled in the Silver Spring Gazette article Blair shows off stylish debutante for her performance in Blair's games so far this season.

American Idol - March 30

By Ellie Blalock, Adedeji Ogunfolu, Shewit Woldu | March 31, 2004, midnight | In Print »

American Idol - March 23

By Ellie Blalock, Adedeji Ogunfolu, Shewit Woldu | March 24, 2004, midnight | In Print »

Silver Chips Online's three judges weighed in on the March 24, 2004 episode of American Idol 3.

Tiffin brings flavor to Langley Park

By Ellie Blalock | March 22, 2004, midnight | In Print »

Tiffin is a tasteful Indian restaurant tucked away in one of Langley Park's numerous mini-malls. The restaurant beckons patrons inside with its soft lighting, vibrant color scheme and rich artwork. Yet what keeps diners coming back is Tiffin's collection of exotic and delectable dishes that helps give the restaurant its reputation for authentic food.

Blazers in the press

By Ellie Blalock | March 19, 2004, midnight | In Print »

Five Blair students were mentioned in the Gazette articles, Meet the mayor of Blair and Delegate, students working to reduce toxic mercury.

Silver Chips Online is Pacemaker finalist

By Ellie Blalock | March 3, 2004, midnight | In Print »

Silver Chips Online was selected by the National Scholastic Press Association as one of seven finalists for The Pacemaker, the highest award given by the NSPA to its member publications.

Life is short for former Blair teachers

By Ellie Blalock | Feb. 26, 2004, midnight | In Print »

Former Blair teachers Cate Kastriner and Sarah Lanahan were featured in this past Sunday's Washington Post Style section. The two were selected for this week's

Blazers hold their own at States

By Ellie Blalock | Feb. 18, 2004, midnight | In Print »

On Tuesday, Day 2 of the Maryland Indoor Track and Field Championship at PG Sportsplex, Blair's Indoor Track Team faced tough competition from historically successful schools such as Eleanor Roosevelt and C.H. Flowers. However, the Girls team managed to secure a fifth place finish in the Girls 4A/3A Championship. The Boys team unfortunately did not place.

Blazers place well at regional competition

By Ellie Blalock | Feb. 13, 2004, midnight | In Print »

In Thursday's 4A/3A west regional indoor track meet at the Baltimore Armory, Blair placed second among the schools in its region. While Walter Johnson High School beat the Blazers out for first place, Blair's runners put up an impressive show and surprised many by grabbing the girls second place prize.

Book signing for The Perfect Stage Crew

By Ellie Blalock | Feb. 12, 2004, midnight | In Print »

2?Y{gy Education teacher and Stage Crew sponsor John Kaluta will be holding a signing for his book The Perfect Stage Crew: The Compleat Technical Guide for High School, College and Community Theater on Sunday, February 15 from four to six p.m.

Blair featured in The Flickering Mind

By Ellie Blalock | Feb. 10, 2004, midnight | In Print »

Author Todd Oppenheimer profiled Blair and MCPS in his 2003 book The Flickering Mind: The False Promise of Technology in the Classroom and How Learning Can Be Saved. The book is an evaluation of public education's attempts to remain current in the face of almost constant technological innovation.

Monster: a powerful glimpse into the mind of a killer

By Ellie Blalock | Feb. 5, 2004, midnight | In Print »

How many movies still send a shiver down your spine when you think of them or made you emerge from the theater deep in thought and emotionally drained? Monster is just that type of film, a work of art whose characters, script and visual message are at once wholly convincing, disturbing and pitiful.

Maryland Legislature to debate on assault weapons bill

By Ellie Blalock | Feb. 2, 2004, midnight | In Print »

This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from the Silver Spring Gazette article Assault weapons ban gathering momentum, by Steven T. Dennis. The Maryland Legislature will soon debate a bill banning assault weapons. The bill, supported by many liberal lawmakers, is sparking controversy among the largely conservative group of gun rights supporters in the Senate and House.

Blazers fall behind at MCPS Championship

By Ellie Blalock | Jan. 25, 2004, midnight | In Print »

At Saturday's Montgomery County Track and Field Championship held at the PG Sports and Learning Complex, Blair's competitors did not fare especially well. Although freshmen Halsey and Ashlyn Sinclair excelled in their races, most of Blair's other representatives were outrun by athletes from track powerhouses such as Gaithersburg and Walt Whitman High Schools.

The almost-Lovely Bones

By Ellie Blalock | Jan. 19, 2004, midnight | In Print »

When bombarding a reader with topics as powerful as rape, murder and the afterlife, contemporary writers sometimes assume that a powerful premise itself can carry a story, and that because a book should make its reader stop, think and examine his or her life, it will, even with minimal effort.

Graduation, dropout rates vary throughout MCPS

By Ellie Blalock Allison Elvove | Jan. 15, 2004, midnight | In Print »

Throughout Montgomery County, graduation and dropout rates vary significantly by high school and by ethnicity according to MCPS data collected by the Maryland School Performance Program for the 2001-2002 school year.

Indoor Track struggles at Montgomery Invitational

By Ellie Blalock | Jan. 10, 2004, midnight | In Print »

At the Montgomery Invitational Indoor Track and Field Meet held on Saturday at the Prince Georges Sports and Learning Complex, Blair's runners held their own in a variety of events but were not able to win any races.

Blazers are on track

By Ellie Blalock | Dec. 18, 2003, midnight | In Print »

The indoor track team performed well in the MCPS Developmental meet held on Dec. 13. Although official times were not taken and the teams were not ranked, the Blazers competed in many events to prepare for the first timed meet, the Montgomery Invitational, on Jan. 10.

Solid start for indoor track

By Ellie Blalock | Dec. 13, 2003, midnight | In Print »

DEC. 13, PG SPORTSPLEX-Blair Indoor Track performed well in the MCPS Developmental meet held at PG Sportsplex on Saturday, December 13. Although official times were not taken and teams were not ranked, the team competed in many events to prepare for the first timed meet which will be on January 10.

Elf delivers oversized laughter and plenty of holiday cheer

By Ellie Blalock | Nov. 18, 2003, midnight | In Print »

As far as heart-warming, family-friendly holiday films go, Jon Favreau's Elf can not hold a candle to beloved classics like Frosty the Snowman and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. What it can do, however, is make you laugh. And what more would you expect from SNL's hilarious Will Ferrell doing what he does best: obliviously stumbling through amusing plotlines and slapstick humor.

Blair blown away

By Ellie Blalock | Nov. 13, 2003, midnight | In Print »

The Blair girls' volleyball team fell to the Gaithersburg Trojans in an emotionally-charged, disappointing loss, ending the team's post-season run in the second round of the county playoffs, 13-25, 15-25, 19-25. The Trojans overpowered Blair's defense with a combination of superior height, leaping ability and precision kills. They employed excellent digs and blocks to keep Blair's offense in check, despite a valiant effort from the Blazers.

Student athletes play it to the bone

By Ellie Blalock | Nov. 10, 2003, midnight | In Print »

Almost everyone remembers their very first childhood sports team. Back when the most important game of the year was the one with a pizza party afterwards and phrases like

Takoma Park councilman defeated by write-in candidate

By Ellie Blalock | Nov. 8, 2003, midnight | In Print »

Terry Seamens won the Ward 4 seat in the Takoma Park City Council as a write-in candidate, defeating unopposed incumbent Roland James Dawes in the election held on November fourth.

Volleyball ends playoff run

By Ellie Blalock | Nov. 3, 2003, midnight | In Print »

NOV 3, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM- Blair Volleyball fell to the Gaithersburg Trojans in an emotionally charged, disappointing loss, ending their post-season run. The Trojans simply overpowered Blair's defense and employed excellent digs and blocks to keep the Blazers' offense in check. Blair lost in three games (13-25, 15-25, 19-25).

Blair serves up a victory

By Ellie Blalock | Oct. 23, 2003, midnight | In Print »

OCT 23, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM-Tonight Blair volleyball honored graduating seniors Amanda Hsiung, Lauren Wong, Simone Viger, Carey Bartlett, Emily Ramsay, and Rebecca Cho with gifts, balloons, and a brief speech from coach Anne Garrison. The real honor, however, came in Blair's victory over the Kennedy Cavaliers in only three sets (25-23, 25-10, and 27-25). All six seniors were starters in tonight's match.

Blazers breeze by B-CC

By Ellie Blalock | Oct. 22, 2003, midnight | In Print »

OCT 22, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM-Blair volleyball relied on excellent team communication, an increasingly strong service game, and a consistently impressive offense to score a victory against the B-CC Barons. The Blazers took the edge early, losing only one game to B-CC and eventually winning the match 25-15, 17-25, 25-20, 25-16.

Blazers bedevil Springbrook

By Ellie Blalock | Oct. 21, 2003, midnight | In Print »

OCT 21, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM-Blair came into tonight's match against Springbrook with a dominant offense and very strong defense, taking an early lead and winning the first game 25-16. Blair's early control tapered off during the second game, when the Blue Devils fought back with a powerful offense of their own. Despite numerous tense, lengthy points, the Blazers kept the score very close, and in the end were able to edge out Springbrook with a score of 25-16, 13-25, 25-20, and 25-23.

Newport, Paul

By Ellie Blalock | Oct. 21, 2003, midnight | In Print »

Chorus and Guitar teacher Paul Newport sits in Blair's cavernous music room, which is usually filled with the melodious sounds of enthusiastic Blazers. Newport knew since high school that he wanted to work with music. The only question was which facet to choose.

Volleyball wins in straight sets

By Ellie Blalock | Oct. 14, 2003, midnight | In Print »

OCT 14, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM-Blair Volleyball showed up tonight determined to defeat the Blake Bengals, and they did just that. The Blazers breezed through their match with Blake, winning three straight games at 25-15, 25-21, and 25-14. Throughout the match (their first home-game victory) the Blazers displayed excellent communication, a greatly improved service game, and the ability to use their opposing team's weaknesses in their favor.

Wildcats edge out Blazers

By Ellie Blalock | Oct. 10, 2003, midnight | In Print »

OCT 10, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM-Blair Volleyball was beaten 17-25, 25-17, 16-25, and 20-25 by the Walter Johnson wildcats. Throughout the close match-up, the Blazers were unable to overcome Walter Johnson's combination of strong spikes and a good service game. Blair was also troubled by poor communication, allowing the wildcats to take advantage of holes in their defense.

Watkins Mill outlasts Blair

By Ellie Blalock | Sept. 24, 2003, midnight | In Print »

SEPT 24, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM-Girls Volleyball remained neck and neck with a talented Watkins Mill squad deep into their fifth game, but despite delivering clutch spikes and dazzling saves, the Blazers were plagued by miscommunication and a weak service game. They lost the match 25-21, 22-25, 20-25, 26-24, and 12-15.

Data recorders monitor teen drivers

By Ellie Blalock | Sept. 17, 2003, midnight | In Print »

Blazers spiked by Falcons

By Ellie Blalock | Sept. 10, 2003, midnight | In Print »

SEPT 10, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM-Girls' Volleyball was defeated by the highly ranked Poolesville Falcons at home on Sept 10, winning one game and giving up three. Tight defense on both teams kept rallies short, points long, and wide leads few and far between.

Blair implements new fire drill policy

By Ellie Blalock | Nov. 30, 1999, midnight | In Print »

Blair has instituted a new fire drill policy for the new school year in which students are seated with their homeroom classes during a drill, rather than with the classes they have that period. This policy was in effect during the fire drill last Friday.

WUSA folds

By Ellie Blalock | Dec. 31, 1969, 7 p.m. | In Print »

The Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) announced its closure on Monday, September 15, due to low attendance and poor sponsorship, according to CNN.com. WUSA's announcement came days before the Women's World Cup began on September 20.