Two competitions a world apart marked the IFBB pro circuit for the second week in a row on March 15 and 16. This time out it was the New Zealand Pro Bikini on one side of the earth and the St. Louis Pro Figure and Bikini competitions on the other.
In Aukland Nicole Nagrani, third at the Bikini International on March 2 and second in Australia the previous weekend, topped the New Zealand lineup, with Polianna Moss, fourth in Australia, moving up to second, and local gal Jessica Pendergrast getting third. Another New Zealander, Jade Mackinnon, and Australian Amy Wright earned Olympia points in taking fourth and fifth, respectively, in the contest, which was produced by Moe El Moussawi in conjunction with a big amateur show.
In St. Louis promoters Jack and Ann Titone attracted a couple of slam-bang lineups, with the figure title going to Alea Suarez, a competitor who just keeps getting better. Nineteen athletes got onstage for this one. Second was to Aleshia Hart, who looked so good, it had to be close, while the third spot went to Natalie Waples, who’s had more ups and downs in her career than a skier. Speaking of ups and downs, all three women finished out of the top 10 at the Figure International two weeks earlier but definitely presented improved packages here.
Maria Garcia Sanchez of Spain and Monica Labriola, who finished only a point apiece, earned Olympia credits for fourth- and fifth-place finishes, respectively.
Also improving on her finish—and her physique—at the International, in this case the bikini competition, was Jennifer Andrews, who won the St. Louis Pro Bikini for the third time. Second in the lineup of 15 was Jessica Arevalo, who caught my eye at the Musclecontest Pro Bikini a week earlier, and third went to pixie bombshell Narmin Assria.
In addition, Christie Marquez in fourth and Noy Alexander, fifth, earned points toward Olympia qualifications.
This weekend the action moves back to California for the Governor’s Cup Pro Figure in Sacramento on March 23.
Photo: Alea Suarez