The 2006 IFBB Sacramento Pro Figure show was the final destination in a long competitive season. Three 2007 Olympia qualifications were up for grabs and drew a strong field of IFBB Figure Pros.
Crest Theater, in the heart of downtown Sacramento, served as the event venue. The city of Sacramento isn't the most forgiving place for visitors as it laced with one way streets and construction. It was quite eventful trying to get to the venue while I rode shotgun with Kevin from Jan Tana. My GPS skills were a bit off despite having a print out of where to go.
A few wrong turns later we arrived at the event. I was off to set up to photograph the event while Kevin headed backstage to help the competitors with their tan. I took my assigned seat next to one of the industry's top photographers, Ralph DeHann.
Ralph and I talked shop while we awaited the figure women to take the stage. Top lensemen, Steve Wennerstrom and Terry Goodlad, were also there covering the show.
As I roamed around backstage taking a few photos, the women were pumping up and putting the last minute touches on their hair and make up. Kim Oddo was helping a few of the women he trained with their posing and the Jan Tana team was taking care of the tanning touch ups. The women were lined up to take the stage and hit their quarter turns.
The stage was large enough to accommodate the field of 25 without much hassle.
Taking The Stage:
It was clear once the competitors took the stage who was leading the pack, California's own Gina Camacho. This was the best Gina has looked since turning pro and was on her way to victory. It quickly became a showdown for the remainder of the top spots. She wasn't as hard as previous shows but displayed near perfect condition and presentation.
Gina went on to capture her first pro win and it was well deserved.
The talk of the pro figure world since the Olympia has revolved around Valerie Waugaman. Val was one of the special guests at the IFBB West Palm Beach show and put on an interesting routine. The buzz around Val stems around her posing and left ticket holders wondering what she'd display this time.
Valerie showed up in good condition, not her all time best, but much better then her Olympia showing. The suits here were better then the Olympia as was her hair. Val did a bit of her posing routine but it was toned down significantly.
Val opened the door for others to do a bit of their own interpretation in their posing and it was noticeable at this show. Valerie went on to secure a solid second place at this show.
3rd - Final Olympia Qualifier:
The last remaining Olympia qualification went to Danielle Hollenshade. Hollenshade showed up in her best condition at the West Palm Beach show but narrowly missed out on an Olympia birth. She made the trek across country in hopes of placing high enough to make her first Olympia appearance in 2007.
She didn't look as crisp as she did in West Palm but it didn't hurt her this time around. Danielle placed third and secured her spot on the Olympia stage next year. She's dieted nearly all year and like many competitors her body is about to get a much needed rest.
Rounding Out The Top 5:
Fourth and Fifth were decided by one point. Andrea Dumon narrowly edged out Christine Wan for the 4th place finish. Andrea is another competitor who has competed all year and is in need of a break. She looked good but she looked her best at the start of the competition season. Look for Andrea to take the stage the middle of next year.
Christine Wan has been a consistent competitor throughout the year. She's established herself as a top 5 contender every time she slips on the heels and graces the stage. Christine rounded out the top five but easily could have been as high as third.
Remaining Competitor Placings:
Zhanna Rotar showed up a little softer and it helped move her up in the placings. She's always a pleasure to talk with at the shows.
Cheri Lewis continues to improve her physique and displayed her best package at this show. The always beautiful Dina Al-Sabah was a bit under the weather going into this show and wasn't sure if she'd make it to the stage. She was able to muster up enough energy and take the stage and capture the eighth place position.
Dina has one of the smallest waists you will ever see and despite her placings continues to be a top fitness model in the biz.
Colorado's Heather Mae French competed in her second pro show since turning pro at the NPC Jr. Nationals earlier this year. She came in a bit softer this show and it proved to be the right move. Under the guidance of IFBB Pro George Farah, look for Heather to continue to move up the pro ranks.
Waleska Valle nearly missed the evening show but took the stage in the nick of time. She has a cute look and was in great condition. Just missing the top 10 was the always stunning Elaine Goodlad. Elaine is like fine wine, she gets better with age.
Her placings may not reflect it but she is an IFBB pro many youngsters aspire to become. Elivimar Sanchez didn't make the top placings but did have an interesting two piece outfit for the night show. The majority of the suit was see through and cause quite a stir. The Brazillian Goddess Juliana Malacarne has an incredible physique but a bit too much muscle for the figure ranks.
I'd like to see her go to female bodybuilding and shake things up there. She placed 14th and was noticeably disappointed with her callouts.
Following The Show:
John Tuman and Ted Williams have a well-oiled machine with this show. Things went quickly and without any hiccups. It had to be the first show I've been to where there wasn't a screw up in the music or trophies. They did something a little different and gave the winner a shield. Not your typical trophy, and it was nearly as big as Gina!
After the show, Ms. Figure Olympia, Jenny Lynn, as well as many other pros, could be found at Morton's Steak House enjoying a nice meal.