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Junior Cal Fastest Growing Contest in NPC

2006 Ron Avidan
photo by Ron Avidan at [Lonnie with 2006 Jr Cal Winners]

Two years ago I was wondering if I should even put on the NPC Junior California Bodybuilding and Figure Championships anymore. I created the event in 1999 (holding it at the beautiful Sexson Auditorium on the campus of Pasadena City College, one of the two school’s I teach at ) as the California Collegiates, open only to registered college students in California. It did well for a while, then the numbers went south.
I then changed the name to the Western Collegiates, opening it up to any college student in the western states. Didn’t make a difference. In 2003 I changed the show to “The Junior California and Western Collegiates Championships”–two events in one, in you will. Again, no real change in my numbers.
A final name change came about in 2004: My show offically became strictly the Junior Cal, but I still included a Collegiate division (and Teen) division. It may be the only show, or at least one of very few, that has a collegiate class within a regular NPC show (not counting the Collegiate Nationals, of course).
Two years ago I only had 36 competitors, and really thought about chucking the whole thing. Then, last year, the numbers nearly doubled to 65! Bingo, it was catching on! I had six in the Teen division last year, including a kid who drove all the way from Utah to enter. I think I’ll have more than that this year. Justin Hunter won the Teens last year, and will be back in the Collegiate class.
I figured out part of the problem; too many people were confused about what the contest was all about, with many still thinking they had to be a college student to compete. Actually, that still is a minor concern, but I’m happy to say it looks like the Junior Cal has finally found it’s niche.
With nine days to go before “game day” (check out the event website at I have 55 entry forms in hand. A year ago, at the same time, I had 29 or 30. I went into the contest with 33 entries, and got another 32 to sign up the day of the contest for the record 65. That record will be shattered on June 23!

2006 Jr Cal by Ron Avidan

I had 22 women compete in Figure last year; I have 23 in hand now and several contestants have told me their entry forms are on the way (ditto for several men contestants). I fully expect at least 70-75 to compete this year, possibly more. And, this is NOT counting crossovers. I might even have to add a fourth class in Figure this year, a very nice problem to have.
Of course, having the newly crowned Mr. Olympia as my featured guest poser won’t hurt tickets sales any. Yup, Jay Cutler will be on stage at PCC, keeping his promise he made to me and the fans years ago that not only would he guest pose again for me, but would be back as the sport’s number one bodybuilder.


There will be plenty of other stars at the show as always. And some great competitors. Kiyoshi Moody is entering; so is big Bryan Yersky, coming all the way out from Columbus, Ohio. And, Daniel Church is a 20-year old who is coming all the way from Alaska to compete in the Collegiate, Novice and Open classes.

‘Nuff said for now. Keeping checking back here for contest updates leading into the show.

Click on the thumbnail for the full size poster. Or go here to download it:

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