2009 NPC Nationals Review: Great Show Has Strong Finish!

The 2009 NPC Nationals is in the book and it was a good one. There were a few surprises and a few expected wins. See who came out on top in tight competition!


2009 NPC Nationals Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships Review!

The 2009 NPC National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships is in the book and it was a good one. There were a few surprises and a few expected wins in the show. It was one of the most competitive shows of the year. Props to the NPC and the entire team involved for a job well done.

The Westin Diplomat Resort served as the host hotel in Hollywood, Florida and it was one of the nicest venues you'll see holding a bodybuilding competition. Amazing rooms with killer oceans views, you can't beat that. The competition was held in the same building as the hotel which made it convenient to walk to your room and not incur added travel costs.

RELATED VIDEO: NPC Nationals
HARDBODY.com Tour of NPC Nationals' Host Hotel - Westin Diplomat!

A look at the host hotel for the 2009 NPC Nationals in Hollywood, Florida. The Westin Diplomat is a very nice hotel with great views of the ocean. Highly recommended and HARDBODY APPROVED.

Things started on Thursday with the Board of Governors meeting at the host hotel. This is an annual meeting where NPC promoters from around the United States meet to discuss their shows, new business and show dates for future years.

A couple things of note that came out of the meeting...

Team Universe will move to New Jersey and be held in July. This changes a number of competitor's plans for the year but it is a needed change as Manhattan was simply too expensive.

The NPC Jr. USA will move from Charleston to Houston and will be held on August 28th instead of the usual May date. Promoters were told to make certain that bikini competitors were not wearing thongs or hiking their suits up to look like thongs. The division is still in its infancy and with 9 pro shows and a Bikini Olympia slated for next year, it will only continue to grow and find the look they are after.


The Weigh In

    At the weigh-in/check-in I was able to get a look at a few competitors who were expected to do well in the show. Shavis Higa dropped down to the Welterweights but wasn't able to make weight on Thursday. He came back on Friday morning and did. He looked great and was sure to be a threat come show time.

    Steve Kuclo looked small and flat compared to last year. Some competitors can change their looks dramatically overnight though so you can't go by what someone looks like at weigh-ins, but it is a good indicator. Cedric McMillan was clearly the guy to beat when you saw him step on the scale.

Steve Kuclo.
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Steve Kuclo At The 2009 NPC Nationals.
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Prejudging

    Prejudging took place on Friday night for Men's Bodybuilding and the Bikini division. It ran very smoothly and we were finished at a decent time. The men's prejudging was stacked with some very competitive classes.

    Male Competitors.
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    Comptetitors At The 2009 NPC Nationals.
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    The bikini division at this contest, I felt, was a little lackluster compared to Team Universe and the NPC USAs. There were a few standout physiques but the presentation of some of the women was over the top. Women should not be twirling their hair and swaying their hips from behind like they are about to climb a pole.

    Bikini Competitors.
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    Bikini Competitors At The 2009 NPC Nationals.
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    The Women's bodybuilding and Figure prejudging started first thing in the morning on Saturday. I was impressed with the overall quality of women in the female bodybuilding division. Women looked like women and displayed great conditioning without the over-the-top freakish mass, as has been seen in the past.

    Female Competitors.
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    Female Competitors At The 2009 NPC Nationals.
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    The figure divisions were competitive in every class and some tough calls on who should end up where.

    All the class winners in every division are eligible for IFBB Pro Status.


Bikini

    Trina Goosby took home a unanimous decision in the A class. I agreed with the judges on this one and had her in first place after prejudging as well.

Trina Goosby At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Trina Goosby At The 2009 National
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    The B class was a bit different. Erica Reder took the class with 10 points and 3-4 were separated by one point.

Erica Reder At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Erica Reder At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Erica Reder At The 2009 National
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    I had Michelle Cagle winning the class on my score card. Keep in mind I'm not a judge and when I say my score card, I'm simply saying if I were one how I'd score it. At the end of the day this was a close one and Erica prevailed.

    Alea Suarez edged out Vanessa Prebyl by one point to take home the C class victory. I had Vanessa winning the class from my vantage point but again I was proven wrong.

Alea Suarez At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Alea Suarez At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Alea Suarez At The 2009 National
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Vanessa Prebyl At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Vanessa Prebyl At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Vanessa Prebyl At The 2009 National
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    The D class was won by Tianna Ta with Brittany O'Conner in second. I had Brittany winning the class but again I was wrong. Tianna looked great from the front however she lost her booty when she posed from the back. One point separated Brittany and Tisha DesMarteau for second and third.

Tianna Ta At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Tianna Ta At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Tianna Ta At The 2009 National
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Brittany OConner At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Brittany OConner At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Brittany OConner At The 2009 National
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Tisha Des-Marteau At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Tisha Des-Marteau At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Tisha Des-Marteau At The 2009 National
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    Bikini E was the biggest surprise to me as I had Jessica Anderson in fifth after prejudging and she not only wins the class but the overall. I know Jessica and have photographed with her in the past. She's a beautiful woman who works full-time in the NAVY. I thought she was a bit soft in the booty to win the class.

Jessica Anderson At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Jessica Anderson At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Jessica Anderson At The 2009 National
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    I had Alison Rosen winning the class but she tied for 3rd and finished in fourth. Michelle Maxwell was in second, just two points behind Jessica.

Michelle Maxwell At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Michelle Maxwell At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Michelle Maxwell At The 2009 National
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    The bikini division is still new and the judges are figuring out what type of look they are going for. In my opinion, a bikini competitor should have a pretty face, a tight/toned body and a good butt. If you don't have the tight booty you shouldn't get a pass for having just a pretty face. That's just my opinion and nothing personal to the competitors or any disrespect to the judges.


Figure

    The figure competition was tough and very competitive in each class.

    Kimberle Trowbridge took the A class in what I am told was her first national NPC show. It's a reminder to competitors that just because you've competed a number of times, it's not a pecking order.

Kimberle Trowbridge At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Kimberle Trowbridge At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Kimberle Trowbridge At The 2009 National
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    You never know when someone new will compete and take the show. Debra Lavette was first on my score sheet but she finished in second with Tina Francis third.

Debra Lavette At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Debra Lavette At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Debra Lavette At The 2009 National
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Tina Francis At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Tina Francis At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Tina Francis At The 2009 National
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    The B Class was won by Kathleen Tesori. This was also Kathleen's first national show and she shocked a number of people. Some felt she should have done bikini as she was the FLEX bikini model search winner in 2008. She edged out a competitive top three in this class.

Kathleen Tesori At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Kathleen Tesori At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Kathleen Tesori At The 2009 National
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    Josie Zamora was in second and Jennifer Smythe was in third. This was a great class. My pick going into the show, Soleivi Hernandez finished in 9th.

Josie Zamora At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Josie Zamora At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Josie Zamora At The 2009 National
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Jennifer Smythe At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Jennifer Smythe At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Jennifer Smythe At The 2009 National
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    As many expected, myself included, Ava Cowan took the C class in unanimous fashion. She was the standout and deserved the win. Alexandra Porshnikoff was second and looked great.

Ava Cowan At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Ava Cowan At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Ava Cowan At The 2009 National
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Alexandra Porshnikoff At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Alexandra Porshnikoff At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Alexandra Porshnikoff At The 2009 National
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    The D Class was a tough top three and in the end Taylor Gallagher took the class. I had her winning as she had the best overall package in this class. If Ryan Everson was just a bit tighter from behind she could have taken this class. She'll be one to watch next year.

Taylor Gallagher At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Taylor Gallagher At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Taylor Gallagher At The 2009 National
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Ryan Everson At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Ryan Everson At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Ryan Everson At The 2009 National
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    The E Class and overall win went to Mindi Smith. Mindi was competing in her second NPC show ever and took the class with straight first place votes. She edged out Kim Sheppard who was on top of her game and has a physique that is worthy of the pro stage.

Mindi Smith At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Mindi Smith At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Mindi Smith At The 2009 National
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Kimberly Sheppard At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Kimberly Sheppard At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Kimberly Sheppard At The 2009 National
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    Holly Beck edged out Jennifer Marie Martin by three point to win the F class. The F class was unusually large and very competitive. I look for a couple of the women who turned pro at this show to go in and make an immediate impact in the pros.

Holly Beck At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Holly Beck At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Holly Beck At The 2009 National
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Jennifer Martin At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Jennifer Martin At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Jennifer Martin At The 2009 National
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Women's Bodybuilding

    I was impressed with the quality of this competition and the numbers were up from year's past for the show. It is an encouraging step for female bodybuilding. I told "Money" Mark Mason who was sitting next to me in the press pit that if female bodybuilding looked like it did at this show I'd show more interest and pay closer attention. Props to the women in this event for stepping up their game in this show.

    The lightweight was won with straight ones by Lori Steele. I like Lori's physique and she was on the money here. I actually had Barbara Fletcher pegged as the winner but she finished in third.

Lori Steele At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Lori Steele At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Lori Steele At The 2009 National
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Barbara Fletcher At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Barbara Fletcher At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Barbara Fletcher At The 2009 National
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    The middleweights I agreed completely with the scores and winner Lisette Acevedo deserved the win.

Lisette Acevedo At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Lisette Acevedo At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Lisette Acevedo At The 2009 National
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    The light-heavyweight class was won by Nicole Berg and she was the clear standout in the class. Another job well done and she looked great after some time away from the stage.

Nicole Berg At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Nicole Berg At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Nicole Berg At The 2009 National
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    Kris Murrell won the heavyweight division and the overall. She displayed a very feminine look on stage and brought the house down with her evening routine. I felt she was a little soft in the glutes/hamstrings and I would have had her in third.

Kris Murrell At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Kris Murrell At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Kris Murrell At The 2009 National
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    I thought Amber DeFrancesco was on point and the winner of the class. I was wrong and she finished in second. I would have liked to see Monique Jones and Sarah Hayes compared as the two finished third and fourth but were in separate callouts. This was a tough class and one that has a ton of promise for future shows.

Amber DeFrancesco At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Amber DeFrancesco At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Amber DeFrancesco At The 2009 National
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Monique Jones At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Monique Jones At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Monique Jones At The 2009 National
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Men's Bodybuilding

    A very competitive show in all the divisions and some of the best bodybuilders we've seen all year took the stage. Bleu Taylor took the bantamweight class by three points over Chris Darby.

Bleu Taylor At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Bleu Taylor At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Bleu Taylor At The 2009 National
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Chris Darby At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Chris Darby At The 2009 National<br /> Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Chris Darby At The 2009 National
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    The lightweight class went to Joe Vu and it was a close call as Luis Santiago was just two points behind him in second.

Joe Vu At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Joe Vu At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Joe Vu At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Luis Santiago At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Luis Santiago At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Luis Santiago At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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    The welterweight class was a tough one. Shavis Higa took home the win over Victor Prisk and Victor Del Campo. All the guys in the top five in this class were good. Luis Santa wasn't quite as sharp as he was at the USAs and he slipped to fifth.

Shavis Higa At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Shavis Higa At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Shavis Higa At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Victor Prisk At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Victor Prisk At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Victor Prisk At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Victor Del Campo At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Victor Del Campo At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Victor Del Campo At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Luis Santa At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Luis Santa At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Luis Santa At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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    Nathan Detracy's conditioning was off the charts again and he cruised to a win in the middleweights. Ronald Torres has tremendous potential and look for him to be one to watch in this class.

Nathan Detracy At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Nathan Detracy At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Ronald Torres At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Ronald Torres At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Ronald Torres At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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    Seth Feroce upset the favorite Al Auguste in unanimous fashion. This was Seth's third show ever and he made incredible improvements from his win at the NPC Pittsburgh. Watch out for him in the IFBB 202 class as he has the physique to do immediate damage.

Seth Feroce At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Seth Feroce At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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    Al Auguste had to settle for second again and even though he was second he was much improved from last year. Don't be surprised if he turns pro in his next show as his physique is there to do so. Tamer El-Guindy wasn't as sharp in his upper body as he was at the USAs and slipped to third.

Al Auguste At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Al Auguste At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Al Auguste At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Tamer El-Guindy At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Tamer El-Guindy At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Tamer El-Guindy At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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    Branden Ray was in fourth and should be happy with that placing as he still has some work to do to win this class. Particularly his lower back.

Branden Ray At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Branden Ray At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Branden Ray At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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    Jeff Long shocked a ton of people by coming in his best shape ever. He enlisted the help of IFBB Pro George Farah to help get him into the condition he displayed and it paid off. Jeff beat out Lee Banks for the win in the heavyweight class by having more muscle, especially in his legs.

Jeff Long At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Jeff Long At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Jeff Long At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Lee Banks At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Lee Banks At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Lee Banks At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Fred Smalls At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Fred Smalls At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Fred Smalls At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Parenthesis Devers At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Parenthesis Devers At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Parenthesis Devers At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Anthoneil Champaigne At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Anthoneil Champaigne At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Anthoneil Champaigne At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Cedric McMillan At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Cedric McMillan At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Cedric McMillan At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Robert Burneika At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Robert Burneika At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Robert Burneika At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Abbas Khatami At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships. Abbas Khatami At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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Abbas Khatami At The 2009 National Bodybuilding, Bikini & Figure Championships.
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    A few surprises were in this show when Sean Allen was called out in the first round of comparisons but not Trey Brewer or Steve Kuclo. Steve and Trey were getting a ton of press leading into the show and many felt it would be a battle between the two of them for the win.

    Trey still has yet to live up to the hype that he's been given and if he keeps his offseason weight in check he might be able to do it but his window is closing.

    Steve took a step back from his showing at last year's Nationals and if he can return to that form he'll be a contender again. He looked flat in his upper body and clearly was off at this show when he finished in 13th.


Conclusion

Congratulations to all the new IFBB pros and another successful NPC year. Things will slow down on the National level until June of 2010 when the NPC Jr. Nationals kick the season off. Then it's a very busy summer in the NPC.