Reported August 12, 2003
’03 NPC Figure National Championships
The Longest Day
NEW YORK’Talk about your cattle calls. When NPC officials announced that they’d be giving away 12 pro cards at this year’s Figure Nationals’with the only requirement being that contestants had to have entered one previous show’they knew they’d get an even bigger turnout than the 80 who stormed the Tribeca Performing Arts Center stage last year. Even the most generous estimates, however, didn’t anticipate the 162 buff babes in high heels who arrived at the athletes’ meeting to be measured and sorted into the newly organized four height classes’or that 62 of them would be over 5’5″. Nevertheless, the judges went out of their way to make sure that every one of those women got a good look, with the result that the two rounds of quarter turns and comparisons that took place on August 9 lasted more than 4 1/2 hours. While I can’t say I agree with all the decisions regarding who got the coveted first callout in each class’and thus a chance to finish in the top five’and who didn’t, I can’t argue with the monumental effort the panels put forth to reach their conclusions.
The overall went to tall-class winner Amber Littlejohn, a curvaceous 5’8″ brunette from California with a balanced, nicely conditioned body and a face that had even the most cynical members of the press corps smiling. Her fellow class winners Christine Wan (short), Chondra Coffey (medium short) and Michelle Adams (medium tall) also advanced to the pro figure ranks, as did the second- and third-placers in each class. They included Latisha Wilder and Mimi Murphy (short), Zena Collins and Misty Lyi (medium short), Deborah Denio and Sandra Del Vecchio (medium tall) and Kimberly Becker and Lisa Schaerer (tall).
Look for the NPC to rethink its strategy regarding height-class divisions’and qualifications for national figure competition’when the gang gets together for its annual meeting at the National Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships in November.
For your own good look at the 162 buff babes in high heels who contested this event, go to the ironmanmagazine.com contest gallery.
’03 NPC Team Universe Fitness Championships
NEW YORK’It’s always a pleasure to watch when a competitor who’s come so close so often puts it all together at last. That was the story with Jersey jewel Teri Mooney, who slathered a layer of polish on her always excellent routine and shed a layer of size from her lovely lower body to take the medium class and overall at the Team Universe Fitness Championships on August 9.
Only 12 athletes showed up at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center to vie for the three pro cards up for grabs’there will be no fitness at the Team U after this year’but they were an entertaining bunch. The medium-sized gals comprised the biggest class. Mooney, who had numerous top-five finishes under her bikini, had missed making the pro ranks by a measly couple of points at the USA on July 26, a real heartbreaker, as she’d been in first going into the one-piece-suit comparisons at the finals. This time out she nabbed a perfect score in every round to end the evening with a 20-point victory over Pennsylvania’s Amy Johnson, who’d also finished right behind her at the USA.
Winning the short class and also moving on to the pros was Florida filly Janet Koehler, who brought a pleasing physique and a clever routine to the Tribeca stage, along with two props, a platform and a minitrampoline, that she actually used. On the subject of heartbreakers, Arizona’s Nita Wilson-Marquez had a right to sing the blues. Another routine diva and perennial top-five finisher, she’d taken a personal-best third place at the USA’just eight months after the birth of her third child’and was ahead going into the finals at this show. Instead she finished second (another hapless competitor done in by the swimsuit that’s supposed to hide the flaws). Like Johnson, she’s a good bet to pull off a pro card in the near future.
The tall class featured the most ironic twist of the evening. New York’s Aja Perkins was completely overlooked in the Figure Nationals, which were held in conjunction with the Team Universe, but beat Michigan’s Krishia Henn in a two-woman class to earn the third pro card here. The irony? Perkins, a 5’10” mountain of well-conditioned symmetry and just enough muscle who is not a routine diva, will likely compete in figure in the pros.
For the complete results and a look at all the women in this year’s Team U fitness lineup, go to the contest gallery.
’03 IFBB New York Pro Figure Championship
Davana’s Still Divine
NEW YORK’It was Davana Medina’s contest to lose, and she didn’t. In fact, the 5’7″ winner of the first Figure Nationals finished the New York Pro Figure Championship on August 8’9 just a single point shy of a perfect score to earn a 13-point victory over runner-up Dina Al-Sabah. Medina was in superb condition, looking even better than she did a couple of months earlier at the Night of Champions, where she picked up her first pro win.
As only five women had previously secured invites to the upcoming Figure Olympia, the IFBB made this show a top-five qualifier, and as a result, 30 Olympia-hungry competitors packed their bikinis and headed for the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. Al-Sabah, who continues to make progress in streamlining her lower body, presented a personal-best physique to land the number-two slot, while D.J. Wallis, 17th at the NOC, earned the unofficial most-improved-competitor award as well as the third-place check. Rounding out the top five were Sharon Kouvaras and Elaine Goodlad, in that order. You’ll find complete results’along with shots of all the N.Y. Pro Figure contestants’in our ironmanmagazine.com contest gallery..