On Saturday I head out to Culver City’s Veterans Memorial Auditorium, the site of the 2008 California State Championships. Prejudging starts at 11 am and the finals, which I will be hosting, per usual, get underway at 6:30 pm. And, as has been the case the past few years, there will be the California Pro Figure event attached to the Jon Lindsay promoted event, as well.
What is new, however, is a rule change. For the first time in the show’s history, competitors from all across the United States are eligible to get on stage. Texas standout, and a guy often featured in the pages of IRON MAN, Jeff Dwelle, told me he’s coming out. Isaac Hinds says that Sarah Hurrle, a recent Rising Star in the April 2008 issue, will be going for the top spot in Figure.
Another Hinds favorite, Heather Green, is scheduled to compete in the pro event along with other standouts such as Huong Arcinas, Meriza DeGuzman, Andrea Dumon, Nancy Georges, Leslie Morris, Felicia Romero and Kirsten Nicewarmer, to name a few.
On Saturday, it was ribbon cutting day in the Weight Pen at Muscle Beach, as the upgraded facility was on display after $41,000 of Star Trac equipment and $20,000 of flooring were inserted. Russ Deluca was on hand for Bodybuilding.com, which donated the money for the equipment, and Todd Greene of Headblade, who put up the cash for the flooring, made sure he was on hand as well by taking the red eye in from New York a few hours earlier.
By the way, I want this in writing for all of you to see. Todd told me he’d step up as a Title Sponsor of my Junior Cal if I shaved my head with one of his famous blades. You think any amount of booty can make me go for the chrome dome look? Of course not! Well, let’s talk, Todd. After all, it MAY grow back.
Jack LaLanne and Franco Columbu were also in attendance as Joe Wheatley added their plaques to the Hall of Fame roster. Ron “Yogi” Avidan, Jerry Fredrick, Gene Mozee, Kent Kuehn, Victor Konovolov, Jerome Ferguson and other notables were also sighted during the affair. Go to Getbig.com and check out all the great photos that were taken–many of them by me, although Avidan has his photo credit listed on each and every shot. Say, Yogi, how did you take the picture of you and Wheatley?
Deluca challenged me to a pullup contest, and slightly prevailed, 20 to 1. Hey, I didn’t know about the battle beforehand, or would have at least practiced a bit. Shoot, Russdaddy, I haven’t done pullups in years….as everyone in attendance could tell. But I did a terrific job of counting Deluca’s reps, so that should mean something.
Make sure to listen to the latest version of “The Great Debate” on Monday night at 5 pm, PST, as Larry Pepe and I go toe to toe on www.probodybuildingweekly.com regarding the value of the 202 and under division that has been added to several pro shows this year. Larry has the easy job, giving it a thumbs up. Listen carefully to my valid concerns why I’m not sold on what I’ve seen so far. Of course, if you miss the live battle on Monday, you can always listen to the podcast down the road. And, tell me who wins the argument.
USA contender Brandon Rey flew into town last week for two reasons: to do a cover shoot for MD, and to visit his lady, Kristy Hawkins. Rey came into Gold’s Pasadena on Thursday to train with the Hawk, and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to tell him why doing a “warm up” show–my Junior Cal–was a great idea. By the time I was finished with the sales job, he was asking for the entry form.
Okay, just kidding. Obviously, Rey, last season’s Junior Nationals Lightheavyweight winner, certainly doesn’t need to do anything but concentrate on the highly anticipated match with Brandon Curry in Las Vegas the last weekend of July.
But I couldn’t pass on getting the two to pose down, calf style. Kristy says she wins by a landslide. Brandon swears it’s close, and adds “I have great calves for a black guy.” Personally, I have horrible calves for any guy. Or girl, for that matter. The winner? Well, Hawkins does edge out her beau in the lower leg department, but Rey is improving and, who knows, might win that crown by the end of July as well.
Gotta go…will be back soon.