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Team Universe 3—WPD Is on Point

Here’s why I’m really liking the women’s physique division. Women who have beautiful structures with a noticeable amount that elusive quantity known as “feminine muscle” are getting a chance to shine. Take the winners at the NPC Team Universe Physique Championships, held during the big T.U./Fitness Nationals weekend, July 8 and 9, in Teaneck, New Jersey. Yeah, I know that the NPC Teen, Collegiate, Masters Nationals is taking place in Pittsburgh even as I write this, but as there’s no WPD at the Masters this year—and I’m here in Hollywood working on the mag—it seemed a good time to make sure these gals get their due.

Overall honors at the third pro-qualifier of the new sport’s inaugural season went to Jennifer Symthe, a symmetrical jewel from New Jersey who’d been knocking on the pro division door with top-five placings in figure for years, finishing as high as third at the Nationals twice. Too much muscle, too hard, didn’t look good when she softened up—it’s becoming a familiar story. After taking fifth at the Junior USA in May, she started thinking about doing physique but made the final decision just a couple of weeks before the T.U., she told Dave Palumbo at Good call.

Symthe won the A-class before defeating B-class winner Marilena Echohawk for the overall. Also getting their cards for the brand-new-in-2012 pro competitions were runners-up Ayonna Carol in the A-class and Roseann Devigneaud in the Bs.

Perusing the contest photos of the 19-woman lineup at the Team Universe Women’s Physique Championships is what inspired my opening comment regarding the abundance of symmetry and so-called feminine muscle. Ultimately, of course, both of those qualities are, like art and pornography, in the eye of the beholder, but if you check it out, I think you’ll agree that there was plenty of both onstage in New Jersey.

If you’ve been around the women’s physique scene for a while (fitness, figure, bikini—the whole enchilada), you might also have the following thought: Is the sport of women’s physique really just women’s bodybuilding 20 or so years back?

More to the point: Would that really be so bad?

Photo: Jennifer Smyth.

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