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A Female Trifecta at the Chicago Pro

IMG_1109WbFlorida promoter Tim Gardner sure knows how to attract women, as evidenced by the consistent quality of female athletes who flock to his pro-extravaganza productions (and NPC events) in Tampa, Florida, and Chicago. This year’s IFBB Chicago Wings of Strength Pro, held on July 6,  was no exception, with 100 total athletes, includ 15 female bodybuilders, 24 figure athletes and 26 women’s physique competitors. The results: A fine night for veterans and new stars alike.

Ann Titone came rolling into this show off her win at the Toronto Pro, hunting for bear, as the old saying goes, and took dead aim, presenting perhaps her best ever physique to bag a unanimous win. Newcomer Linda Andrew earned the second-place Olympia Showdown points, and Bernita Stuckey, third at last fall’s Houston Pro, nailed that placing again.

Natalie Waples took fourth and is currently second in the point standings, while the last point up for grabs went to fifth-placer Laurie Schnelle. All were unanimous decisions.

The question for Titone, as we sail through summer heading for the big show on September 28, is whether she can get the kind of love from the Olympia judges that she has seen during the season—three wins, including the Kentucky Pro Muscle last November, and the runner up spot at the Pittsburgh— to move into a top position there.

Photo: Ann Titone

Here are the complete results:

’13 IFBB Chicago Pro Figure
1) Ann Titone
2) Linda Andrew
3) Bernita Stuckey
4) Natalie Waples
5) Laurie Schnelle
6) Agnese Russo
7) Chikondi Mseka
8) Chaya Boone
9) Vicki Counts
10) Chelsey Morgenstern
11) Teela Thompson
12) Tiffany Archer
13) Dawn Hinz-Pugh
14) Essence Monet
15) Eleni Kritikopoulou
16) Cinderella Richardson
16) Gloria Tarpley
16) Katerina Tarbox
16) Louise Rogers
16) Magela Cambronero
16) Melanise Pettee
16) Michele Mayberry
16) Samantha Maycock
16. Shala Singer

Women’s Physique
From the comments I was gleaning via the Internet during the judging of this show, not a whole lot of people saw Jamie Nicole Pinder coming. A bikini competitor just two years ago, she earned her card in physique with a second-place finish at the Nationals last fall and was making her pro debut. Plus, when she came out onstage, she didn’t fit the preconceived notion of what the judges were looking for, based on the results of the previous show, where the panel chose a competitor who had structure but was not ripped. Pinder was too shredded for WPD, was the initial comment—too hard. Based on the photos, she also had balance and symmetry, plus muscle but not too much muscle, which could be the reason she scored a unanimous win.

Valerie Gangie, bigger and fuller and plenty conditioned—but not ultimately as conditioned—took the second spot, and with her pleasing lines, she could easily have been the winner. Canadian Nicole Ball, a former bodybuilder, landed in third, sporting a lot of muscle for WPD and the same kind of shape that Pinder was in. Fourth went to Mindi O’Brien and her harder-style physique, while fifth took the judges in the completely opposite direction for their choice of Andrea Holliday, an attractive not-too-large/not-too-hard entry who was making in her pro debut.

It’s a mistake to read too much into the judging of one show, and it would be a shame if athletes thought they should get peeled for their next competition based on these results. Weighing the plusses and minuses of each physique, that’s how the panel saw it for this particular group on this particular day. A few women who “softened up” after the results in New Orleans last month probably thought they had made a mistake, but may be they’d just softened up too much and would be better off finding a happy medium than going back to where they were. Jill Rudison, who has a terrific structure but finished in the traditional tie for last here, was one. Nola Trimble, who won the Chicago Pro last year and landed in 13th this time, was another.

Photo (from left): Valerie Gangie, Jamie Nicole Pinder and Nicole Ball.

Here are the complete results:

’13 IFBB Chicago Pro Women’s Physique
1) Jamie Nicole Pinder
2) Valerie Gangi
3) Nicole Ball
4) Mindi O’Brien
5) Andrea Holliday
6) Lisette Acevedo
7) Kim Tilden
8) Bailey Shuck
9) Loana Paula Muttoni
10) Danielle Deck
11) Leonie Rose
12) Leila Thompson
13) Nola Trimble
14) La’Drissa Bonivel
15) Lohani Noor
16) Marina Lopez
17) Jill Dearmin
18) Amie Francisco
18) Chris Kramer
18) Evangeline Belton
18) Jill Rudison
18) Laura Davies
18) Lori Steele
18) Marilena Echohawk
18) Stacy Wright

IMG_1057MJWbWomen’s Bodybuilding
Ironically, the decision went in the opposite direction for the largest division, where Monique Jones‘ size, symmetry and proportion carried the day over highly conditioned newcomer Juanita Blaino. As is often the case with Miss Jones, she could have been a bit tighter, but as is also often the case, she was tight enough to get the nod.

Blaino, the ’12 National Overall winner, made a smashing pro debut, coming within a point of beating Jones with a physique that that was packed with shapely muscle.

Third went to Tina Chandler, who was strangely overlooked in the precontest prognostication but turned in a solid performance, as usual. British champ Rene Campbell, who won the IFBB World Amateur Championships last year, took fourth, and Canadian Nancy Clark got the fifth spot.

Photos: Monique Jones and Juanita Blaino.

Here are the complete results:

’13 IFBB Chicago Pro Women’s Bodybuilding
IMG_0233JBWb1) Monique Jones
2) Juanita Blaino
3) Tina Chandler
4) Rene Campbell
5) Nancy Clark
6) Sherry Smith
7) Christine Envall
8) Natalia Batova
9) Sherri Gray
10) Michele Brent
11) Emery Miller
12) Beth Wachter
13) Ann Gannon
14) Aurelia Grozajova
15) Sharon Mould

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