Review By Lee Shaffer
On Saturday, June 2nd in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with 24 classes of top-notch competitors vying for the top spots, 58 bodybuilding and figure competitors took center stage to battle for the coveted Excalibur Sword in the OCB 2007 Natural Southwest Classic, only 3 would walk away.
Promoted by Lee Shaffer, this show was the most exciting and successful show to date, with an enthusiastic sold out crowd, the atmosphere at the KiMo Theatre was filled with electricity.
Capturing the coveted prize would be no easy feat. The “Duke City” has long produced some of the best male and female natural bodybuilders and figure contestants in the country, and this show was no exception. With competitors and the vocal crowd of trainers, friends and family supporters buzzing, the bodybuilders waged several classic battles that resulted in nail-biting one-point decisions.
Your open overall winners taking home the rights to Excalibur would be Mayra Perea from Albuquerque, coming back for her second straight win for the sword. In women bodybuilding, new comer to the Natural Southwest Classic would be Katherine Johnson from Albuquerque. In men bodybuilding, coming from Colorado Springs another new comer along with his statement “I am coming for the sword and for the Pro Card” Julius Lendhof.
Watch out for these three in upcoming shows and all three qualified for the IFPA Pro Ranks. All three had very strong opponents and were decided only by a couple of points. Vernon Koonce from Albuquerque took home Best Routine Award for men; he rocked the house with his robotic style routine and had the crowd roaring with appreciation. Women Best Routine for Bodybuilding would go to Katherine Johnston and Best Model Walk to Corina Schmidt who mesmerized the audience with her walk and smooth transitions.
Most improved men’s bodybuilder would have to go to Aaron Bubbico and at 23 he is the man to watch in the up coming shows; he did his homework, trained hard, and came in 10x better than he has in the previous years. Beside him for women’s figure would have to go to Julie Ann Tapia. She reached deep down into that pit that all competitors know of, trained hard for a year and also came in better than she has from 2006.
I would like to thank Bodybuilding.com, Max Muscle, R Downs, Adobe Building Supply, Elite Physique, La Vesca Bella, Los Vatos Sportswear, Silva’s Elite Fitness, Haulin Hooks, Defined Fitness, Double Tree Hotel, Real Oldies 1600, Joy AM 1550 and the rest the sponsors of this show and especially like to thank the family and friends of all competitors supporting these athletes and making this show happen.
Having contestants of this show, and future competitors calling me for next year, I am already making a list, checking it twice, and shooting for even a better show. See you next year.