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2007 Natural Ohio

NATURAL OHIO—The ’07 Natural Ohio, held on March 31, was another blockbuster production for promoters Todd Pember and Dave Liberman—133 contestants (not counting crossovers), a large house, great grub, an 81-year-old phenom named Moses Tomko, who got robbed in the 50-and-over class (well, maybe not) and a couple of award-winning guest posers in Phil Heath and Andre Ewing. Shoot, I couldn’t even complain about the weather. Fortunately, Todd and Dave moved the show up a week due to Easter, ’cause the snow was piling in to Cleveland as I was piling out.
Shawn Ray, repping title sponsor VyoTech, made his first appearance at the Lakewood Auditorium event. Pro figure starlet Valerie Waugaman was busy signing pictures while fitness pros Julie Palmer and Kristen Nicewarner were settled in at the GNC booth. Sugar Shawn even chipped in to Pember and Liberman’s traditional donation to the American Cancer Society with $500 out of his pocket (they raised $2,600 total). Also on hand to shoot the event for was Mike Lackner, who splits emcee duties with me at the guys’ twice-a-year productions—Mike gets the warm weather at the October show; I get the blizzards in early April. What is wrong with this picture?
Congrats to overall winners Teon Thompson (men’s bodybuilding), Stephanie Bullock (women’s bodybuilding) and Daphne Bascom (figure) and to all of the other class champions. (For complete results and photos of this event, go to
Neon Teon might have been in the lightweight class, but he was a heavyweight in this battle, knocking off heavyweight champ Steven Bradley, light-heavyweight winner French Ogburn, middleweight titlist Reginald Ruttin, welterweight victor Rick Lauro (who deserves a special award for actually posting on the GraphicMuscle forums!) and bantamweight champion DeWayne Sammons.
The 31-year-old Thompson is a 5’7”, 153-pounder out of Akron who trains at Bodybuilders Inc. Gym. I feel so bad for him—he had to diet a whole eight weeks to look the way he does here!
Bullock, who turned 35 two weeks after the contest, is a 5’4”, 114-pound stay-at-home mom to daughters China and Helena. She lives in Glendale, Ohio, and works out at The Gym at Carew Tower in downtown Cincinnati. After Helena’s birth seven years ago Stephanie packed on 190 pounds, but thanks to bodybuilding, she turned that around. She was able to stay attentive to her training despite the stress of going through a divorce, although, she admitted, “My mind isn’t always where it should be.” Your body was, girl. Good job.
Bascom was competing in her first contest at age 41. In her day job the 5’4”, 125-pounder is a director of clinical informatics (in layman’s terms that means she helps hospitals and physicians’ offices install medical records). She earned her undergraduate degree in biology from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Ph.D. in physiology from some place called the University of Oxford. Yes, the one in England.
The body braniac, who calls Olmstead Falls, Ohio, home, said she finally decided to compete because, “I was always going to the gym and wanted a goal to keep me focused.” She prepped for the event at LifeWorks-Southwest General, also the workout home of pro figure beauty Mari Kudla (who was at the contest and said she’ll be back onstage real soon). As always, Daphne was at the head of the class, but what else would you expect from Dr. Bascom?
Special thanks to Muscular Michael Mondozzi, owner of Carrabba’s Italian Grill in Westlake, who kept his place open late on both Friday and Saturday night, so all attending—especially me and Sugar Shawn—had plenty of good food to eat.

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