Reported November 16, 2003
Duvall Finally Makes Swami A Winner
The Swami predicted Mat Duvall to take the NPC Nationals overall crown in 2000. Better late than never. Duvall, trimming down to 244 pounds, his lightest bodyweight ever in a National level competition, unanimously took the superheavyweight division, then edged lightheavyweight champion Kris Dim to win the Overall title at the 2003 Nationals, held November 14-15 at the Jackie Gleason Theatre in Miami Beach, Florida.
The 31-year-old Duvall, from Manassas, Virginia, also toppled heavyweight winner Franklin Roberson, middleweight titlist Jimmy Canyon, lightweight champion Marc Jacobs and bantamweight victor Marvin Ward en route to the overall crown. All class winners at the contest (with the top two in the fitness competition) are eligible to apply for pro status.
Roberson, a 225-pounder out of San Antonio, Texas who was seventh at the ’03 USA, had the crowd in stitches at both the judging and finals with his on-stage antics. During the overall posedown, after Robertson kept getting in Duvall’s face, Mat finally picked him up and placed him on the front part of the stage.
Dim a 5’5, 196-pounder from Elk Grove, California, also was able to pick up his pro card after several near misses. Dim won the LH class at the 2002 USA, but finished third in the overall balloting which sees the top two get IFBB cards, forcing him to compete in last year’s Nationals in Dallas, Texas. But, Dim missed out again after being upset by North Carolina’s Mike Valentino.
Then, at this year’s USA, Dim placed second again to Richard Jones, who was making his debut on a pro qualifying stage. Dim easily won his division this time around with straight first place votes before battling Duvall to the wire in the overall posedown.
In the women’s bodybuilding arena, 41-year-old Annie Rivieccio not only was able to finally earn her pro card after 15 years as an amateur with a unanimous victory in the heavyweight class, but toppled middleweight champ Tonia Williams and lightweight winner Michelle Davis to nab the overall title as well.
Rivieccio, a 156-pounder out of Dallas, Georgia, has been competing at the National level since 1992.
In fitness, Carla Freda of Hallandale, Florida took both the Class A crown and the overall, topping Lydia Haskell (Class B winner) and Shannon Dey (Class A champion) in the process.
Second place finishers Jenni Allen (Class A), Amy Huber (Class B) and Melissa Babers (Class A) also moved on to the pro ranks.
The contest drew a record 321 contestants, breaking the old mark of 302, set at the 1998 Nationals held in Atlanta, Georgia.