The 2007 Chicago Swarm - NPC Jr. Nationals Review.

Pam Betz once again promoted the 2007 NPC Jr. Nationals. Pam and her crew do a tremendous job of making sure everything runs smoothly... Here is my review of an amazing show with several victors emerging as pros. Learn more!

Once every seventeen years locus, better known as the 17-year cicadas emerge. Those in attendance at the 2007 NPC Jr. Nationals were greeted with these green-and-black eyed little creatures. The cicadas weren't the only freaks to be found in Chicago this past weekend.

I guess those of you reading this wouldn't find the people in the show freaky but if you were to ask the Home Depot convention that was also at the host hotel, they may disagree.

Pam Betz once again promoted the 2007 NPC Jr. Nationals. Pam and her crew do a tremendous job of making sure everything runs smoothly and that it did. Things kicked off on Thursday night with a weigh-in/check-in for all the competitors.

The hundreds of competitors stepped on the scale or had their height checked. Once they finished checking, the competitors received a t-shirt and then posed for a few shots. Friday morning served as a late check-in for a few more competitors who needed to make weight or didn't make it the night before.

It was clear to see some people had done their homework and others would be leaving disappointed. Two guys immediately stood out to me at the weigh-ins, Brandon Ray weighed in at 186lbs while Lockett tipped the scales at 244lbs. It was pretty clear this was Lockett's show to lose.


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Lockett At The Weigh-In.
View More Pics From The 2007 NPC Jr. Nationals Here.


Fabulous Female Friday

Friday evening, dubbed "Fabulous Female Friday", began at 6pm and went on for the next 5 hours. It wasn't for lack of coordination, but simply due to the number of women competing (over 200 total). There was a good turn out in the fitness classes, which was refreshing to see.

The routines didn't have too many standouts but a couple of the women did have pro quality routines. The female bodybuilding was a refreshing look this year. The female bodybuilders have played the size game lately and in the process ruined their feminine looks.

The majority of the women had a much healthier, pleasing look to them. Then the figure women took the stage and there were hordes of them. Each class was stacked with incredible physiques. The A and the F classes had the toughest competition.

The height classes were broken into 6 classes this year, which helped in the judging. I don't envy the judges at all as it is a very difficult task to judge the number of women in each class. I predicted two people to keep an eye on Huong Arcinas and Krissy Chin. How would they fair? Well they were in the running at prejudging and both looked great.


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Huong Arcinas.
View More Pics From The 2007 NPC Jr. Nationals Here.

Krissy Chin
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Krissy Chin.

    Check Out Krissy's BodySpace Page Here.

As soon as prejudging was over, I returned to the hotel room and began downloading and processing photos. Bodybuilding.com's webmaster and jack of many web trades, Will was waiting in the wings. Together we cranked out the photos and blogs in record time on Friday night as well as Thursday evening.

    Check Out The Galleries From The 2007 Jr. Nationals Here.

It may sound like I'm tooting my own horn and I am, the two of us did what other online sites had 6-7 people doing. It was amazing to hear how many people had checked out the photos that night and had commented about it the next day. While we didn't get much sleep, we provided you, the customers and fans, with the best possible coverage we could.


Saturday

Saturday morning the competition began at 9am and rand until about 2:30pm. The men's competition was fierce in every weight class and the top guys in each class all looked great. There was another round of figure and fitness judging as well.

As predicted the standouts were Brandon Ray and Michael Lockett. Some of the female competitors looked better the night before while others were a bit sharper on this day. Once again after the prejudging we uploaded more photos and blogged a bit. I managed to squeeze a photo shoot in with IFBB Pro Liane Seiwald and NPC figure competitor Courtney Gahm.

Liane was in attendance as a trainer to a couple of figure competitors. Courtney, an adorable Texas sweet-heart, ended up finishing in 13th place in the tough A Class. A little bit tighter and a little more polished in her next show and she will move up into top 5 contention.


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Courtney Gahm.
View More Pics From The 2007 NPC Jr. Nationals Here.

I grabbed a quick bite in the hotel lobby with NPC Colorado Chairman, Jeff Taylor before heading to the finals. I think it was a record for the fastest dinner, it lasted about 6 minutes. Jeff was backstage helping out with the trophy organization and presentations.

The evening show started on time and the attendance was packed to near sellout capacity. There were a number of vendor booths out in the lobby with a few industry personalities in attendance representing their respective companies. The "Chick Magnet" was a big hit at the Bodybuilding.com booth.


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"Chick Magnet."
View More Pics From The 2007 NPC Jr. Nationals Here.

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The Chick Magnet

Windows Media (6.46 MB)

Backstage:

    I ventured around the vendor booths doing a few interviews and headed backstage to get a behind the scenes look in the pump up room and other areas. Anyone who hasn't been backstage gets a little taste of what goes on, or at least that's what we're trying to give you.


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Backstage.
View More Pics From The 2007 NPC Jr. Nationals Here.

    The only thing you are missing is the smell of Pro Tan and the foul gas odor from the hundreds of people eating way more protein than any room of people should. The night show went on without any hitches in the event. Chuck Sanow guest posed with a monster snake around himself when he took the stage and Don Long also hit the stage to open the show.

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IFBB Pro Chuck Sanow's Snake

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Overall Winners:

    The overall winners went to Michael Lockett, who also won the Super Heavyweight division. He was the clear winner and has insanely dense, thick muscle on his frame.


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Michael Lockett.
View More Pics From The 2007 NPC Jr. Nationals Here.

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NPC Junior Nationals Overall Champion Michael Lockett's Routine

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    The heavyweight female bodybuilding winner, Diana Cook, went on to win the overall title.


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Diana Cook.
View More Pics From The 2007 NPC Jr. Nationals Here.

    The fitness competition was tough and in the end the B class winner, Tina Durkin went on to win the overall title. Four pro cards were awarded at this show but only one overall winner would be crowned.

    Jennifer Gates improved on her Jr. USAs finish to win the A class and go on to win the overall title.


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Jennifer Gates.
View More Pics From The 2007 NPC Jr. Nationals Here.

    Right behind her was E class winner Tana Clough, who resides in Boulder, Colorado and competing in only her second national show. Colorado adds another pro to the roster! Watch for a follow up interview and more on Tana in an upcoming Colorado Connection article.


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Tana Clough.
View More Pics From The 2007 NPC Jr. Nationals Here.


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Melissa Pearo.
View More Pics From The 2007 NPC Jr. Nationals Here.


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Brenda Smith.
View More Pics From The 2007 NPC Jr. Nationals Here.


Conclusion

The show ended around 11:30 and I headed back to my hotel room for one last round of photo posting. We've got a pretty good system down now and a great supporting team in place for show coverage. Despite my hotel Internet connection going down we still managed to get results and photos up within an hour's time.

We'll continue to provide you with the best coverage we can for shows. Congratulations to all the competitors, there were a number of BodySpace members competing in the show and many of them placed well. Another show in the books!