amstele81 said it best - Right Beer, Right Judge, Right Time.
1st round I had 1st place score of 44 for a cider that managed a 30.33 in the final round. However I had a brown porter go up 4 points from round 1 to round 2, which I thought going in was the weaker of my entries. It got me my first ever final round medal, yet found myself scratching my head on the cider's 14 point drop. Goes to show you never can tell.