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Friday Pickup—Border States and More

The IFBB pro-ladies post-season/preseason miniseries shifts into full gear tomorrow at the Border States Pro Figure. Twenty hot-bodied practitioners of the quarter turn will be hot footing it to the Scottish Rite Center in San Diego to take on Felicia Romero, who owned this show last year and who is coming off a fifth-place finish at the Olympia. Top of the list of ladies who could make it not so easy for the Arizona ace this time is a highly motivated Teresa Anthony. Though she was two places behind Felicia at the O, Teresa looked even better last week at the Houston Pro, where she missed out on her first pro win by a single point. If Felicia looks the way she did at the O, where the accompanying photo was taken, she'll be tough to beat. If she doesn't, Teresa should be ready, willing and able to ascend to the winner's circle.

Also highly motivated is Ava Cowan, whose much anticipated debut at the Jacksonville Pro in early August resulted in a fourth-place finish and was followed by a drop to eighth at the Europa Super Show. The '09 NPC Nationals class winner has become a star in the industry but still has something to prove on the contest stage. Tomorrow will tell if she's found the physique package that will get her to the O in ’11.

Other talented players who could be in the mix include Krissy Chin, Carin Hawkins and Kristin Nunn. In addition, the Border States lineup features a number of noteworthy debuts, including  Julia Aragon, Michelle Bates, Melanie Burger, Mandy Henderson, Kiana Phi, Shala Singer and Deena Walsh. My money for on Deena, who competed in and won her first figure contest exactly a year ago--at the '09 NPC Border States—to make the biggest impression on the judges.

This should be one exciting physique show.  I covered it live last year and had a blast. This week, unfortunately, our  deadline for the January IRON MAN is keeping me from jumping into the Ruthlessmobile and heading for San Diego, but I'll be following from the IM editorial desk; so check back for the results.

Speaking of my day job, the December '10 IRON MAN hits newsstands on Monday (most subscribers already have theirs), featuring the return of Mandy Blank in our Hardbody section. Mike Neveux's new photos of her are absolutely fabulous, but the accompanying interview left me with a question for the late-’90s fitness star the next time we meet:  What exactly did Mandy mean when she said, “I want a Muppet man with a plan”?

Photos: Felicia Romero and Mandy Blank.

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