I’m finally back! My contest, the NPC Texas Shredder Classic, always sucks my life in like a black hole in the weeks leading up to the show.
If you’ve never promoted an event like this you have no idea how much time and energy it takes! There is so much to do, so many details to attend to, and always problems popping up that require my time to solve.
Some years are easier than others. This year I seemed to be faced with one roadblock after another in the final weeks, but we got through them all and the contest, particularly the night show, went off without a hitch. I was about to have an aneurism before the prejuding got started, though. There was a 10k race running down the street (which the entrance to our venue is on) at the same time our prejudging was scheduled to start, so our prejudging got started about 35 minutes late. For alot of shows that’s typical, but I pride myself on starting on time. The 35 minutes seemed like 3 hours to me! Anyway, once it got started the prejudging went very smoothly, we finished the night show in record time and we were able to keep almost all of the very vocal audience there.
I couldn’t have pulled it off this year without my daughter, Blythe, who took on a great deal of the work for me. My contest staff is always outstanding and is the key to a well run show!
Following is a brief article by my good friend Ken O’Neill.
The Texas Shredder Classic
Saturday, April 26, 2008 was a spectacular Austin, Texas spring day with balmy weather and crystal clear skies for the 11th annual The Texas Shredder Classic Bodybuilding, Figure and Fitness Championships. Only after midnight — long after the event — did a Central Texas thunder and lightening storm punctuate the evening’s memorable events.
The show opened with guest poser, my spirited friend and Austin’s own Austin Barbisch presenting his unique mixture of posing and comedic skins, stirring the audience with equal measures of applause and laughter. Austin set the mood for what was to follow by starting the show off with his own personal brand of a resounding bang!
Competitors well demonstrated how months and years of hard training bear exceptional fruit with their well crafted physiques in the classes of Men’s and Women’s Open, Novice, and Figure championships. Our esteemed panel of NPC judges were faced with many difficult choices between the exceptional contestants gathered for the night’s events.
The audience gave an excited reception to guest poser Kiyoshi Moody from San Diego. Kiyoshi’s matured, excellently developed physique was masterfully displayed with his well-rehearsed, inspiring posing exhibition. The crowd wanted more!
Due to spatial limits in this blog, reporting is limited to the Overall Winners of the six classes. It is noteworthy that of this year’s contestants, close to 20% filled the Master’s ranks with significant numbers in their 50s and even 60s. Bodybuilding publications better take notice: past-40 now holds as early midlife competition as the ranks of 50s and 60s year olds begin to fill and swell.
Novice Figure overall title was won by stunning Adrien Johnson.
Novice Women’s bodybuilding overall title went to pulchritudinous (you’re gonna have to ask Ken about that word. I’m clueless) Desiree Auguirre.
Novice Men’s overall winner Craig Ritchie may well prove to be one of those mystery men whose first contest is a stunning victory, and then seemingly pass off in the sunset never to be heard from again.
Coming in as an unknown, his combination of densely developed muscle, incredible overall balance, and cut appearance gained immediate attention. His win, while closely battled with Amechi Chinweze, met with wild audience approval.
In the wake of his victory, hearing him say this would be not only his first but also last contest came as astonishing. Apparently he wanted to give it a try by putting everything into it and the rest is history. No doubt valiant efforts will be made to convince him to move forward in the future. The man has a gift.
Open Figure overall winner Kandace Shelby was met with a tidal wave of applause as her win was announced, including an echoing woman’s voice proudly declaring “that’s my daughter.” How could the audience not share in the joy of family and friends in that moment of hard won victory?
Open Women was taken by the amazing Mary Moran-Parker. It was announced that she was the 1988 NPC Texas heavy weight champion, and then took off for only twenty years to have and raise a family. Let it be known that Mary’s back, sweeping several class titles on her way to the overall Open Women’s win. There’s no history to be found on the web showing how she looked 20 years ago, so comparisons aren’t possible. Nevertheless, she confirms the words of Orson Wells in those commercials when he declared “no wine before it’s time.” Mary’s matured physique reigned over competitors half her age, giving notice of moving forward from where she left off in her bodybuilding career.
Open Men’s overall winner Chris Hietman exemplified that covering all bases well is what it takes to win. In outstanding condition, his development and trained down condition were masterfully displayed with a well honed posing routine. We look forward to witnessing more victories by this fellow.
All three Open Overall champions were awarded NPC Championships rings along with commemorative sword sets, as well as becoming qualified for all NPC national competitions. All open division class winners qualified for the NPC Team Universe (unofficially the NPC Natural Nationals).
Photographs courtesy of copyright holder, Georges Schemagin, www.mr-photographer.com.