Tanji Johnson took Manhattan by storm on Saturday, April 3, making off with a 15-point victory at the ‘10 New York Pro Fitness Championship. It was a third-time’s-the-charm win for the ’09 Olympia runner-up, who finished fourth in her two previous attempts at the Steve Weinberger-and-Bev Francis–produced competition, in 2002 and ’04. This time she hit the stage at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center as the top seed—a superb athlete at the peak of her career, physiquewise and routinewise—and the predictable result seemed more like a triumph than the same old, same old.
The third time was not the charm for Trish Warren, who earned the runner-up spot for the third year in a row (last year to Shannon Meteraud and in 2008 to Heidi Fletcher). It was not for lack of trying, however. The leaner, meaner Trish continues to gain fans with her revamped body and ever-improving routines. She took first in comparisons this time—quite an accomplishment considering how put together Tanji looked—but Warren’s superior flow of the bodyparts tipped the numbers her way.
That very quality, flow of the bodyparts, gets Bethany Wagner into the good callouts these days. In New York it got her the third place in the physique roune, which, along with the third-placed performance brought her the third Olympia invite that was up for grabs.
Tina Durkin took fourth, missing out on a money spot by just four points, while Canadian rookie Allison Ethier took a big leap from her last-place finish at the Fitness International to round out the top five. A high school math and science teacher when she’s not cavorting around the IFBB stage, Allison smoothed out her presentation after the International and put on an energetic routine that took second only to Tanji’s in the 13-woman lineup.
The show marked the return to competition of ’06 NPC National Fitness Overall champ Amy Villa-Nelson, who took a maternity break for a couple of years and now has a year-old daughter. Also coming back for more was veteran routine dazzler Stacy Simons McDowell, who called it quits a year ago after having to withdraw from the ’09 New York Pro Fitness due to back problems.
Below are the complete results.
Photos (from top):
Tanji Johnson, Trish Warren, Bethany Wagner and Allison Ethier.
’10 New York Pro Fitness
1) Tanji Johnson*
2) Trish Warren*
3) Bethany Wagner*
4) Tina Durkin
5) Allison Ethier
6) Sylvia Tremblay
7) Kristina Rojas
8) Kayde Puckett
9) Amy Villa-Nelson
10) Stacy McDowell
11) Lauren DeNapoli
12) Amanda Marinelli
13) Julie Costa
* Qualifies for the ’10 Fitness Olympia.