Reported March 31, 2003
’03 New York Pro Fitness: ’Dela Does It Again—Plus Two More Get the Olympia Call
NEW YORK—Sometimes the big story is who came in third. That was the tale on March 29 at the New York Pro Fitness, where Adela Garcia-Friedmansky chalked up a 51-point advantage over Shannon Meteraud to win this contest for the second year in a row and Julie Palmer stepped out of the chorus to finish third. Yes, you read that right. The same Julie Palmer who ended 2002 by coming in next to last at the Show of Strength in November had improved her physique so much, she earned the third Olympia invite at this top-three qualifier.
With AGF being the only one of the 17 competitors not looking for an Olympia berth, there was plenty at stake at this Steve Weinberger–Bev Francis production. Meteraud, eighth at the ’02 Olympia and 10th at the Fitness International on February 29, was a solid bet for a top-three slot. Still-looking to-get-noticed athletes like Palmer, Laurie Kimes, Julie Childs, Kary Odiatu, Claire Morris and April Carpenter joined rookies Kimberly Scheidler Klein, Bridgette Newell, Peggy Sue Crawford and Tracy Traskos, along with returning-from-hiatus vet Melissa Frabbiele and returning-from-getting-her-butt-kicked-at-the-International vet Laura Mak, in the lineup.
For the record, Adela won three out of four rounds with perfect scores (after the high and low votes were tossed out). In the long fitness routines she came in second. What happened after that was one hell of a contest.
At this show the two physique rounds were held first, so Palmer established her claim on her placing early. Based on the callouts, observers thought that ’02 USA Overall champ Childs was pushing her. The score sheets show otherwise: Palmer tied with Meteraud for second in the two-piece round and beat her in the one-piece, while Childs was relegated to sixth and fifth, respectively.
In fact, Childs finished solidly in sixth, with Kimes (fourth in the two-piece suits and long routines), fourth, and Klein (fifth and fourth in the swimsuit rounds), fifth.
So who beat Adela in the long routines? That would be ’02 National Tall-class champ Newell, who also took second in the 45-second mandatories and whose amazing amateur routine translated perfectly to the pose-for-pesos ranks. Also getting credit for her amazing performances was Laura Mak, who took third in the routine rounds. Unfortunately, their physique scores of both women were too low to get them into the inner circle.
Here are the complete results:
New York Pro Fitness
March 29, 2003
1) Adela Garcia-Friedmansky*
2) Shannon Meteraud*
3) Julie Palmer*
4) Laurie Kimes
5) Kimberly Klein
6) Julie Childs
7) Laura Mak
8) Melissa Frabbiele
9) Bridgette Newell
10) Kary Odiatu
11) Clair Morris
12) April Carpenter
13) Peggy Sue Crawford
14) Aymara Mumoz
15) Tracy Traskos
16) MaDonna Grimes
17) Aprile DeShields
*Qualifies for the Fitness Olympia.
Sidelined: Down-but-not-out Injury List
The outcome of the New York Pro had to have been affected by the absence of a couple of prominent players who are out for injuries this spring. Tanji Johnson, who won the Toronto show and was second at the Jan Tana in her rookie season last year, tore her Achilles tendon in late February, four days before the Fitness International, while practicing a tumbling pass on a hardwood floor. So, instead of tripping the light fantastic in Ohio, the former
Air Force officer spent Arnold Fitness Weekend back home in Washington State recovering from surgery. Four weeks later she was locked into a boot cast and looking forward to rehab. "The doc predicts six months before I can compete again," she said. "I plan to be careful, but if God is willing, I will qualify for the Olympia in Dallas in September."
Another athlete whose presence might have made a difference is Anna Level. Third at the Pittsburgh Pro and 11th at the Olympia in 2002, Level actually made to the International stage but not before she suffered an ankle injury that kept her in a great deal of pain. She finished seventh but dropped out of the New York show to give her leg a chance to heal. She’s expecting to return to competition before the end of the season.
Also out of commission this spring is Ohio firefighter Ally Booklass, who’s been sidelined by a severely herniated lumbar disk since January. "All the orthopedic specialists wanted to do surgery; however, I am currently working with the Arnold Classic medical staff, and they see a good prognosis with a more conservative treatment," said the Columbus-area resident, who was undergoing epidural steroid injections in March and expecting to come back "good as new."
Best of luck, ladies. May your rehabs be painless and productive.