Reported March 8, 2004 Three-Peat as Cutler Edges Cormier at ASC
Jay Cutler took home his third consecutive Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic victory on Saturday, March 6 at Veterans Auditorium in Columbus, Ohio. Barely. The 30-year-old from Las Vegas, Nevada, who also won another $100,000, a new Hummer, a $20,000 T-3 watch and a third Most Muscular award with the victory, nipped Chris Cormier by a single digit in front of the typical full house at the Schwarzenegger/Jim Lorimer produced affair.
Both Cutler and Cormier won two of the four rounds. Cutler, who said he weighed around 265 but looked 10 pounds lighter, at least, (at 5'9"), took both round one (symmetry) and round two (muscularity) to hold a six-point advantage over Cormier after the pre-judging. Cormier, the 36-year-old from Los Angeles, California who has placed second in the last four ASC's, won round three (posing) and round four (posedown) to narrow the gap, but just not narrow enough as he was forced to accept another runner-up trophy.
Dexter Jackson, coming off a unanimous victory at the IRON MAN Pro two weeks earlier, and a surprise win over Cutler at the GNC Show of Strength last November, seemed to be the people's choice after the pre-judging, but could only end up in third place after all the votes were tallied. Jackson, 34, finished 32 points behind Cormier, so those in the audience, but might question the decision not by the judging panel.
Gunter Schlierkamp, in much better condition that in last year's shows, carried his 6'2", 300-pound frame to a fourth place finish and proved he's still among the elite. Another big, bad German, Markus Ruhl, showed there's no ill effects from the triceps surgery that forced him to miss the 2003 'Olympia as he landed in fifth place, and earned the final 'Olympia qualifying spot in the process.
Craig Titus, vastly improved since the IRON MAN (5th), finished sixth in the field of 13, besting Gustavo Badell, whose third place finish at the IRON MAN earned him an invite to compete on the Columbus stage. Badell was the most overlooked bodybuilder on stage, according to many fans, some who had him as high as third or fourth in their handicapping of the event.
Shari "King" Kamali could place only eighth, but picked up a check for 10 grand when he was voted as the winner of the newly established Best Presentation award. Ahmad Haidar and Ernie Taylor rounded out the top 10, respectively.
Bob Cicherillo (11th), Mustafa Mohammad (12th) and Greg Kovacs (13th) rounded out the 13-man field. The placing of Mohammad was also curious, as the Vienna, Austria resident was one of the most heavily muscled competitors in the field, and was in good condition as well.
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