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Last-Minute Nationals Update

Final comments on the eve of the ’08 NPC Nationals, to be held November 21 and 22 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta:

Last month, when Kristy Hawkins and I recorded our NPC Nationals Women’s Bodybuilding and Figure preview video, the competitor lists were nowhere near complete. Too bad, as a couple of names that eventually turned up on the official roster would definitely have gotten a mention. In fact, I talked about both women in the USA preview video that Kristy and I did last summer (neither ended up competing), so I specifically left them out.

I shouldn’t have.

In bodybuilding heavyweight Amber DeFrancesco, the ’08 Junior National Overall champ, is an overachiever when it comes to the look the organization loves to promote: feminine muscle with outstanding symmetry and propportion. Look for her to be up there in the early callouts with Sheila Bleck, Nekole Hamrick and the best of the larger lady flexers.

In figure Gale Elie, a frequent top-five finisher, took second in her class at Junior USA and Junior Nationals earlier in the year. Then she took a little break, during which she co-promoted the IFBB Jacksonville Pro Figure and NPC Dexter Jackson Classic and saw her honey through the process of becoming Mr. Olympia. (It must have been a relaxing time, eh, Gail?) Earning her very own pro card at last in at the Nationals could be the perfect end to a very sweet season for the lovely Ms. E. Wherever the pro card lands, however, look for Gale to be shining brightly in the C-class.

Right now I’m feeling just a bit sad, as I am not headed for the big Hotlanta showdown today. (Darn that magazine production schedule.) Fortunately, I can keep track of things here at, and you can too. For all the bodybuilding and figure action from the ’08 NPC National Championships, set your browser to our contest headquarters.

Photos: Amber DeFrancesco (top) and Gale Elie.

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