I’m looking at the comparison shots from the Sacramento Pro figure, held last Saturday, November 7, in the California capital,and it’s easy to see why the scores were so very close: the top-five placers all looked very good. It’s also not difficult to see why Kristi Tauti, coming off a close runner-up placing to Felicia Romero at the Border States a couple of weeks ago, managed to eak out the win: She was just a little tighter than the others, and on Kristi, tighter is what works.
Still, the competition at the top was so tough that defending champ Huong Arcinas had to settle for third, making way for Kristi, who was sixth last year at this show, and newcomer Cheryl Brown who quarter-turned her way into the runner-up spot. (No surprises for this reporter there.) The judges certainly had a tough time—no one got a perfect score in either round, and four points separated Kristi, in her first-ever pro win, from fourth-placer JulieAnn Kulla in her return to the figure stage after a year’s layoff. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a string of close scores like that in which the winner was included (third through sixth is more usual).
For the record, Tauti got 24 points, Brownie got 25 and Huong and JulieAnn were locked at 26 before the tie-breaker rules were applied to award Huong the third Olympia qualification. Akane Nigro-Ismeal rounded out the top five, duplicating her result from the Border States. If I’d been there, I probably wouldn’t have complained if she’d finished higher.
Coming up on Saturday: The Kentucky Pro Figure, a.k.a. the very last pro show of the season. Expect some of the gals who came close at this one to join the gang on the East Coast for one last shot at an early Olympia qualification for 2010.
Find the complete results from the Sac below.