All seven of us did not know each other previously and had not played together. I think @Braivo mentioned he had played in an outing in Ohio within the past 1-2 years with you and other TST members. Other than that, I do not believe anyone has played in a TST event of any kind.
I guess it depends on the rules of the tournament? I would think that if everyone in the tourney has to keep up a certain pace of play, then it wouldn't matter if there was no group behind you. You have to maintain the same pace as everyone else.