I’ll be venturing out to Culver City this weekend to co-host (with figure pro Gina Silva) the latest version of the NPC California State Championships and the IFBB California State Pro Figure division. It looks like over 200 competitors will hit the stage at the Jon Lindsay promoted event, with another 23 entered in the California State Pro Figure division. Prejudging begins at 10 a.m., with the finals set for 6:30 pm.
I had a chance to interview a few of the competitors a week ago Saturday at Gold’s Gym (see ironmanmagazine.com for all of the Bill Comstock shot videos), and there should be a couple of title contenders in the bunch. Damon Aviles, a 5’5″, 175-pounder out of Bakersfield, looks to be hard to beat in the middleweight class. Derek Duszynski, two-time NPC New Mexico State titlist who moved to Santa Monica three years ago, could be a factor in the superheavyweight division; ditto for the ripped Ray Querido in the lightweight class.
The sister act of Mariaha Rogers and Shameen Cochrell are coming off strong showings at the Emerald Cup a few weeks ago, and I’d count them in the hunt for top honors on Saturday. Rogers placed fourth in her class in figure at the Emerald Cup, while younger sis Shameen took the overall in bikini.
In the pro figure category, Felicia Romero appears to be the front runner, but the battle for a top 5 finish could be a good one among the likes of Monica Escalante, Krissy Chin, Susan Salazar Sara Hurrle and Meriza DeGuzman-Ciccone, among others. For the complete list of pro figure competitors, go to www.musclecontest.com.