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Playing It to the Hilt

Felicia Romero says she’s shooting for a top-three finish at the Olympia, and after seeing her performance at the California Pro Figure in May 28, I’m thinking it could happen. Fe-Ro was sporting the elusive ideal shape for figure, not too hard/hot too soft but very lightly etched, not to mention a slightly lightened version of her long, luxurious locks. Plus, she was fourth at her last A-list outing, the ’11 Figure International, and fifth at the the ’10 Olympia.

In the 24-woman lineup at the Cal the judges gave her a perfect first-place score, sending her back to Arizona on a high, with nothing to do for the next 16 weeks but relax and get ready for the O. Lol.

Krissy Chin took second in the 24-woman lineup. The efforts to streamline her body since the International, which she had displayed at the Optimum Pro Classic a week earlier, were right on target. Krissy looked darned good, and the panel gave her the runner-up slot over third-placer Natalie Waples. Yes, you read that right. Natalie Waples. The same Natalie Waples who was 13th at the Optimum show. And she was only a single point behind Krissy here.

It was the best pro showing ever for the leggy Canadian, who turned pro at the ’08 IFBB North American Championships. A pleasant surprise for this reporter: Natalie caught my eye in this very venue, the Culver City Veterans Memorial Auditorium, a couple of Cals back..

Rounding out the top five were a pair of Monicas, Monica Escalante in fourth and Monica Specking just a couple of points behind her in fifth.

The pro circuit was hoppin’ in May. Now for a two-week break before another double dollop of body battles for the women: bodybuilding, fitness, figure, masters figure and bikini at the Toronto Pro Supershow on June 17 and 18 and bodybuilding and bikini at the Pro Bodybuilding Weekly event in Tampa, Florida, on the 24th and 25th. Both of those events come with a big fitness expo and an amateur physique competition.

Photo: It was Felicia Romero’s second Cal Pro title. She won it in 2008 as well.

Here are the complete results from Culver City:

’11 California Pro Figure

1) Felicia Romero*
2) Krissy Chin*
3) Natalie Waples*
4) Jacqueline Hoppe
5) Monica Escalante
6) Sara Hurrle
7) Monica Specking
8) Michelle Battista
9) Meriza DeGuzman
10) Rachel Gichert
11) Kiana Phi
12) Heather Grace
13) Kimberly Sheppard
14) Natalia Revajova
15) Aleisha Hart
16) Valerie Gangi
17) Ann Pratt
17) Anna Johnson
17) Christina Mehling
17) Emily Nicholson
17) Jill St. Laurent
17) Sabrina Taylor
17) Shalmieno Paper
17) Susan Salazar

*Qualifies for the ’11 Figure Olympia.

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