Amanda Latona dropped back into competition at the New Titans Grand Prix Pro Bikini on October 22 in Culver City, California—after taking the ’11 Olympia off to work with the production—and picked up where she left off, in the winner’s circle. Last seen in March on the very same stage taking first at the Muscle Contest Pro, she showed up at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium with her sass and conditioning intact, if not refreshed, and earned a unanimous victory over the 17-woman lineup.
Abigail Burrows, who won the Tijuana Pro in September, a couple of weeks before the Olympia, earned the runner-up spot, also unanimously, while the third Olympia qualification up for grabs went to class-of-2011 pro Tiffany Marie Boydston. Yes, the top three got Olympia qualifications (more on that below).
It was a third-time’s-the-charm performance for Boydston, who earned her pro card at the Junior Nationals in June and got her feet wet in pro competition in the late-season Phoenix and Tijuana shows. The Titans lineup did feature a number of debuts, including ’11 USA class winners Narmin Assria and Brittany Tacy and overall champ Talia Terese, who finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. Would I have had them in that order? Ask me after a couple of glasses of zinfandel. Any way you score it, though, it’s a testament to the bikini talent pool that came out of the USA this year.
Re Olympia qualifications—in case you’re confused: I wrote recently about the more stringent Olympia qualification rules for the 2012 season and beyond; however, I may have forgotten to mention that the remaining shows taking place in 2011, which were on the schedule before the new rules passed, were not affected. Hence the top three earned qualifications for the ’12 Olympia at this show and at the various competitions in men’s bodybuilding, fitness, figure and bikini that have taken place in the five weeks since the 2011 O.
Re reference in the title above to “swordplay”: Is it me or are the big-sword trophies that So Cal überpromoter Jon Lindsay gives to the pro winners and overall champs at his many contests getting bigger? I notice they now come sheathed as well, which is probably a good idea, considering.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the swords, which Jon has been giving for years, starting with his long-running NPC Excalibur Championships (which closes the 2011 season here in Cali on December 3) back in the day. They’re different, they look good behind some chatchkies on a bookshelf, and they make for wonderful photo-ops. I just couldn’t help noticing the change….
Amanda, whose 2011 season also included a win at the Sacramento Pro and a sixth-place finish at the Bikini International, wielded her sword well. Most likely she’ll call it a year as far as more competition and look for an invite to ’12 International come March.
Find the complete results from Culver City below.