If there were any doubts about the success of the newly christened NPC Last Frontier Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure competition held at the Egan Center in Anchorage, Alaska, they were put to rest this past weekend. Thirty competitors and 450 spectators from all over Alaska can attest to this.
On hand to celebrate the rebirth of Alaskan bodybuilding were IFBB pros Mark Dugdale, Valentina Chepiga and Tanji Johnson. AlaskaFit productions brought forth one of the best debuts in recent history.
Kicking off the show was the lone figure competitor Victoria Clark. Dressed in camos, she came ready to fight. It is unfortunate that Clark was unopposed but she gave her all to her routine much to the delight of the crowd.
The figure classes had some great competition. Anchorage’s own Sherry Smith has been making her mark all over the Last Frontier State and as far away as Seattle. Smith has a near flawless physique with exceptional delts. It was her delts that gave her the first place victory in the figure short class over the irrepressible Shelia Bratten.
Both ladies would be contenders in any regional show and both are on their way south in two weeks to the 25th Emerald Cup. The very exotic Zlata Sushchik placed a solid third.
Tall Class winner Desiree Clark came in with near perfect conditioning and her stage presentation was outstanding. Second place winner Deon MacMillan’s wide shoulders and narrow waist made her a standout in a very tough class. Fitness champ Victoria Clark was back for the figure class was relegated to third place.
Master’s Men Over Forty:
First place winner Norm Knowles came out like he was shot from a cannon. He tossed off two-dozen classic bodybuilding poses and was gone just as quick. So quickly, in fact, that it took the 450 plus spectators a few minutes to catch up.
Chad Comeau’s routine was a total opposite of Knowles. He took his time and really worked his way across the stage giving everyone a good look.
Third place winner, Slingin’ Britt Britt came out with a solid routine but was overwhelmed by Comeau and Knowles.
Jack Phipps youthful exuberance belies his age. He looked as if he was having the time of his life. He took the grandmaster’s title and gave Stormin’ Norman Knowles quite a tussle for the overall masters. In the end Knowles went back to Fairbanks with the title trophy.
In the Junior division Rory Devon came out and posed his way into the Alaskan bodybuilding history books with his second Junior win of his short career.
Men’s Novice Bodybuilding:
Novice winner Matthew Landers posed himself into the winner’s circle. He displayed some great muscularity and detail not to mention a posing routine that would have been over-the-top anywhere else but Alaska! Steve Lewis, second place in the novice men, showed great conditioning and a lot of heart.
Not satisfied with his Junior win, cocky Rory Devon tried his hand in the novice class. He took home the third place award. Not a bad evening at the Egan Center for Devon.
Open Women’s Bodybuilding:
The open women’s class had two competitors for the evening. As elsewhere in the US the numbers in the women’s classes are dwindling. A women needs to step up and revive the sport similar to what Tanji Johnson has done for the fitness division. Who is up to the challenge, ladies?
It got down to lightweight winner Janice Cook’s conditioning and heavyweight winner Stephanie Figarelle shape and symmetry. The judges went for Cook but if Figarelle ever dials in her diet she will be hard to beat.
If there was any type of lull in the evening Vicky and Jack Phipps’ spirited mixed pairs routine got everyone up and ready to party. Both Phipps took home master’s awards and their routine was a mixture of synchronized posing, aerial acrobatics and perfect comedic timing.
Open Men’s Bodybuilding:
MC extraordinaire Kim “Kong” Farrison called Ross Dotzlaf “Mr. Clean with a great build.” There is no doubt that Dotzlaf cleaned up in the open men’s middleweights. There was an exciting face-off between second place Corey Christensen and third place Chad Comeau. Comeau pushed Christensen all the way though prejudging up to the final posedown.
The light heavyweight class was definitely where the action was. Michael Manczko had victory in his sights. Manczko was thick and posed well. Thomas Hussey felt that the light heavyweight trophy was his when he showed up in the morning and had no intention of surrendering it without a fight.
Manczho gave him one; a real dogfight until the end. When the dust cleared it was Hussey over Manczko and Mathew Tompkins taking third.
The solo heavyweight Stephen Breci took the first place award. Rumors had it of a Hussey/Breci feud dating back a few years. This night in Anchorage it was to be settled.
As MC Farrison called out the master’s and open class winners for the overall the Egan Center came alive with electricity. There was no doubt that the title was between Thomas Hussey and Steve Breci. Both had great physiques with few weak points; and the one’s they had they hid well.
It came down to the posedown. Hussey and Breci matched each other shot for shot as Ross Dotzlaf pushed them both darting and dashing between.
After several long minutes of battle Farrison broke up the melee and put everyone back into their line. Moments later Thomas Hussey was declared the 2007 Last Frontier Overall Champion.
One of the biggest stories of the weekend was IFBB pro and former Ms. Olympia, Valentina Chepiga formally announcing her comeback. Chepiga still has a phenomenal physique and promises to bring the needed femininity back to women’s bodybuilding. Now residing in Anchorage, Valentina was on-hand to perform her acclaimed posing routine to All That Jazz. Her rendition has to be seen to be believed.
Multi-talented IFBB fitness pro, Tanji Johnson, also gave a great exhibition during the evening show and an informative and entertaining fitness and figure seminar after prejudging. Among Tanji’s numerous titles is a new one: The Hardest Working Woman In Fitness. She is tireless in her selfless promotion of the sport of Fitness.
One of the featured guest posers of the evening, “The Iron Hawaiian” Marc Kenolio was called up for special duty in the US Coast Guard. Show promoter “Just Another Gigolo” Garry Lodoen volunteered to pinch-hit. Lodoen hit a homer with his high-energy performance.
The highlight guest poser of the evening was IFBB pro Mark Dugdale.
Dugdale, still in great shape after his LA Ironman and Arnold Classic competitions, amazed the multitude with his power routine on-stage and got up close and personal with a jaunt throughout the auditorium. Dudgale’s DVD, Driven, is still on the bestseller list.
If you haven’t seen this DVD you are missing out. Visit markdugdale.com to order.
There was one more competition on April 7th that wasn’t mentioned on the card. The past few months NPC Alaska has been going though some reorganization and growing pains. Changes have been made and a rival organization has sprung up in Alaska. The shows were on back-to-back weekends.
Judging from the feedback from spectators who attended both shows the Alaska NPC and most importantly the fans at the 2007 Last Frontier came out big winners.