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2007 Jr Cal Wrap-Up

2007 Jr Cal

No, I didn’t die, it just appears that way. But, with several things coming up after the contest, combined with the summer school teaching duties, am just getting my head above water. So, let’s update ya on the latest version of my NPC Junior Cal Bodybuilding and Figure Championships.

Let the numbers do the talking: In 2005 I had 38 competitors turn in entry forms (36 competed). In 2006. 67 paid to do the show; 65 stepped on stage. This season, 101 turned in entry forms, and 97 put on the posing suits. Thus, my new title I’ll be flinging around in the coming year: “The Fastest Growing Contest in the NPC.”

Before I get into who stood out at Pasadena City College’s Sexson Auditorium on June 23, let me thank for sticking with me, even during the slow times, to remain my Title Sponsor. To Russ, Ryan, Jeremy, Will and Dave, it’s finally paid off! Special thumbs up to Pete Ciccone and his 619 Muscle, and to Todd Greene of Headblade, for coming on board as Presenting Sponsors. And, of course, a special thanks to all the other sponsors (listed at bottom of this post) for supporting the event.

Now to the show: not only was it the biggest by far, it was easily the best. Kiyoshi Moody, coming off two wins earlier in the year, remained unbeaten with a unanimous victory in both the Lightheavyweight class and the Overall. The 5’10, 198-pound Moody didn’t even know if he would be able to do the show the week before after popping out his back doing deadlifts.

Then, there was the three hour photo shoot with Michael Neveux the day before that had him so sore he had to nearly hobble on stage. The 36-year-old from Chula Vista, California was preparing for the Team Universe as I write this; Ki will be in the thick of things in New York, sezs The Swami.

Brian Yersky, who also spent time with Marvelous Mike in his studio the day before, came all the way out from Youngstown, Ohio to win the Heavyweight class. Adir Souza-Filho took the Middleweight class and Ray Douglas won the Lightweight division.

Although Moody took the Overall as anticipated, Souza-Filho was the biggest star of the day. A 5’6″, 174-pounder from Glendale, CA, Adir came to the United States from Brazil four years ago. At the Junior Cal he won the Overall Novice and Collegiate as well as his class in the middles, and finished second to Moody in the Overall balloting.

Speaking of the Middleweight division, how’s this for being challenging?: Darren Roberts, who won the class last year, was bumped to second, although looking better this time around, by Adir, who could definitely place in the top five Nationally. Rene Chavez, who won the Lightweight class at the California State Championships, moved up a division and, despite being at what he considered his all-time best, finished third.

Lorenzo Reynaga, the “Leonidas” look-alike from the movie “300”, won this class at the ‘Cal but could only get fourth at the Junior Cal! And George Funk, the incredible 48-year-old who won the 40-49 class, was relegated to fifth! This was a good a MW class overall as I’ve seen throughout the country, and I know, ‘cuz I emcee a load of them yearly.

The Lightweight champ, Douglas, was coming off the Overall Novice title at the ‘Cal, where he bested Reynaga. Manuel Bejar, who on the 50-59 at the ‘Cal and was fourth in the Lightheavyweight class at the same show, duplicated the latter placing in Pasadena. Get my drift? There’s nothing “Junior” about the Junior Cal.

Congrats to Jeane Sunseri-Warp, who made the eight-hour drive from San Jose to win both Division A and the Overall in Open Figure; ditto to Dallas Malloy, who made good on her vow to win the Women’s Bodybuilding after finishing second last year. In all, the Figure drew 33, up from 22 a year ago and 12 in ’05.

Actually, kudos to all the winners; way too many to list here or I’ll set an all-time record for words in a blog — so browse the mini gallery below and check out the results and all of Merv’s photos of the event on the site

2007 Jr Cal

NPC stars Ciccone and his sweetheart, Meriza DeGuzman, opened the show with a sensual guest posing routine, setting up the main course for the evening, the newly crowned Mr. Olympia, Jay Cutler. Cutler was late due to the always horrific Los Angeles traffic, but got there in time to do his thing before a standing ovation from the appreciative fans (which included, by the way, IRON MAN Publisher John Balik, wife Stephanie and their two children, Justin, 17, and Lilly, 13). Thanks for showing up, it meant a lot to me. Ditto for Ruthless Ruth Silverman, who has made the drive from Hollywood to Pasadena every year to support my efforts.

Jay said he was hitting the scales at about 294, and was in great condition for being that far out from defending his crown the last weekend in September.

Last year Derik Farnworth, the 5’2″, 160-pound dynamo, jumped on stage to take on the 325-pound Gunter Schlierkamp in a special posedown; this time he challenged Jay to the approval of the people in the seats.

A special moment took place after Jay finished his performance; Shawn Ray, in the house repping Vyo-Tech, came on stage and handed Jay an “Olympia Drive” street sign somebody bought for him back in 1993. “Since I never got to hang this, I’m passing it on to Jay,” Shawn said to a roaring crowd. Jay then asked Ray if he stole it, with another heavy round of laughter following.

Next year’s show is already booked, so mark June 21 on your calendar, and keep checking at both this website and my contest site at for continual updates. And, make sure to read the October issue of IRON MAN, where a more detailed report of the event, with many great pictures, will appear in my News and Views column.

Title Sponsor:
Presenting Sponsors: 619 Muscle, Headblade

Co-Sponsors: IRON MAN, Muscle-Link, Labrada Nutrition, Dream Tan, Pro Fight, Pro Bodybuilding Weekly, Vyo-Tech, Champion, Max Muscle, ABB, MET-Rx, John Scott Nitro, Gaspari,, Cytosport, MHP, Lift Studios, Hollywood Tans, Flexstar, One More Rep, Cindy Guiterrez Jewelry, House of Pain and NPC Active Wear.

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