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Rick is Slick at the ‘Cal

img_1879Was going to write this when I got home from the contest last night, but was bushed. With 165 competitors, plus 29 more in the Pro Figure division, it made for a long night at the podium. And, a very successful event for promoters Jon Lindsay and Steve O’Brien.

Congrats to Men’s Overall champ Rick Figoni, who duplicated his feat of taking the whole ball of wax at the Contra Costa two weeks ago. Rick was slick as he bested Super Heavyweight winner Max Fairchild, Light Heavyweight champ Daniel Koyama, Middleweight winner Malachi Walker, Welterweight titlist Akeshi Toyonaga (the most ripped dude on stage), Lightweight winner Carmelo Lopez and Bantamweight champion Kimo Sevillo en route to another Overall crown.

img_0511Isaac “Hardbody” Hinds also deserves some props; he said Yogi and I would be wrong in going with Ronald Sargeant to nab top honors. Yes…Ronald, who has been dieting for months after competing at both the San Diego and Orange County Championships, was off the mark in this one and lost the     SHW class to Fairchild, who came in from Texas to show the California fans his improving physique.

Now, let’s get this straight–Avian does NOT get the credit he’s longing for by picking Heather Mae French to win the Pro Figure competition. I took Sherlyn Roy and Hardbody went with Sonia Gonzales, as did Yogi, a week out. Then, French, battling bronchitis for the past two weeks, entered late in the game, but was still able to win the show she placed second in last year.

Avidan changed his selection after hearing French would be in the show, which is not allowed in the official LT Contest Prediction Guidelines. No second chances, Yogi. This isn’t like another helping of orange chicken. So, all three of us were wrong and, since Hinds correctly said Sargeant would not be in the winner’s circle at the ‘Cal, he’s the official “Expert of the Weekend.”

img_0502Avidan sat side by side in the press area with IRON MAN’s Marvelous Merv; Jerry Fredrick, snapping away with sturdy camera in hand, and Ruthless Ruth Silverman, analyzing the women’s segment of the competition, were also representing.

Back to the men; Cesar Martinez won the Overall in the Closed division (open only to California residents), Chris Kimber took the Novice Overall and Carson Walker was crowned the Teen Men champ.

Patricia Corbett won the Women’s Bodybuilding, with Susan Salazar and Michelle Gullet taking top honors in Figure and Bikini, respectively.

As always, ran into a lot of the industry’s top names over the weekend; who could not enjoy seeing that wide smile of Ageless Albert Beckles? As usual, Albert promised to show up at the latest version of my Junior Cal which, believe it or not, is less than four weeks away. Would love to have one of the game’s living legends sitting in the Rosemead High School Auditorium on June 20-you know you have a standing invite, Ageless.

And, got to talk to Richard Jones about his ninth place demise in the 202 and under in Pittsburgh a few weeks back. I’ll go into more detail in next month’s News and Views about Richard’s thoughts on the show, and whether or not he will ever compete again.

Okay, getting near game time (Cavs vs. Magic), gotta go and see if Labron can continue to steal the show. By the way, on the subject of NBA playoffs, Hinds once again showed by guts by going with the underdogs-Denver and Orlando-to make it to the Finals (with the Nuggets winning it all). Yogi and I are taking the Lakers, although I am pulling for the Cavs.

Later, gator.

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