Rising Stars Of The 2010 NPC Pittsburgh Championships Preview!

Some of the rising stars in the NPC will take the stage May 1, 2010 at Jim Manion's 2010 NPC Pittsburgh Championships. Get the latest predictions and more here!

Article Summary:
  • The 2010 NPC Pittsburgh Championships will take place on May 1, 2010.
  • One of the evening show highlights will be the all-star line up of pro bodybuilders.
  • The talent that takes the stage is often a preview of who might be gracing a pro stage soon.

The one day event held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania will feature a NPC contest, IFBB Pro figure and IFBB Pro Bikini competition. One of the evening show highlights will be the all-star line up of pro bodybuilders taking the stage.

Some of the rising stars in the NPC will take the stage May 1, 2010 at Jim Manion's 2010 NPC Pittsburgh Championships. The NPC competition will have bodybuilding, fitness, figure and bikini. The IFBB women will take the stage in the Pro Figure and Pro Bikini Championships. The top three in both figure and bikini will qualify for the 2010 Olympia.

The talent that takes the stage at the event is often a preview of who might be gracing a pro stage very soon. Last year, Seth Feroce was the stand out NPC bodybuilder at this event. He took top honors in the light-heavyweight division and the overall title. Seth continued his winning ways by winning his class and earning IFBB pro status at the 2009 NPC Nationals.

The figure division was also an early preview of a rising star. Andrea Watson took home the short class and the overall victory. She later went on to win the overall at the NPC JR USAs and this year she made her pro debut on the Figure International stage.

Cheryl Brown was runner-up in her class but since the 2009 contest has already notched a pro figure victory and is qualified for the Olympia.

Another winner at the 2009 contest was Gennifer Strobo. She too has since turned pro and is qualified for the Figure Olympia later this fall.

The 2009 event showcased bikini for the first time and you guessed it, another future pro won the overall. Jaime Baird was the 2009 bikini winner at this contest. She later went on to turn pro and in her pro debut at the Orlando Pro, she placed second which qualifies her for the 2010 Olympia.

Kat Holmes and Kira Rivera were also competitors in the 2009 show and both will return to compete in the pro bikini division this year. Pretty impressive and that was just from last year's contest.

This year will showcase over 100 NPC competitors from all over the United States. Don't be surprised if you see a few more future pros come out of this event. The NPC prejudging will begin at 9am EST on Saturday.

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IFBB Pro Figure Predictions
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The top five for this contest should be very competitive. There are currently 19 women slated to compete in the IFBB Figure portion of the show.

Four of the women are already qualified for the 2010 Figure Olympia. Here's my breakdown of how I think it could play out when the awards are announced on Saturday night.

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1. Heather Mae French:
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She'll be one of the tiniest competitors on stage but I'd be surprised if she's not standing tall in the winner's circle on Saturday night.

She won the 2010 New Zealand Pro and was third at the 2010 Figure International. She hit her stride last year and has continued it in the early stages of the 2010 competitive season.

Heather has a tiny waist and very nice symmetry, something the judges have rewarded her for.

Heather Mae French At The 2010 Arnold Classic. Heather Mae French At The 2010 Arnold Classic.
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Heather Mae French At The 2010 Arnold Classic.
View More Pics Of Heather Mae French At The 2010 Arnold Classic.

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2. Gennifer Strobo:
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Strobo had a little break since the end of last year and she'll come into this event rested and ready to rock.

The pressure is off as she's already qualified for the 2010 Olympia. Gen placed third in her pro debut at the 2009 Ft. Lauderdale Cup.

She's one of the taller competitors and look for her to be in the mix for a top spot. When she competed at this event last year she was a bit too tiny and stringy for her frame. That's not the case any more as she's added some much needed muscle to her frame and it suits her well.

Gennifer Strobo At The 2009 Jr. USA's. Gennifer Strobo At The 2009 Jr. USA's.
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Gennifer Strobo At The 2009 Jr. USA's.
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3. Jodie Minear:
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Jodie made a few rookie mistakes at the 2010 Phoenix Pro but she's confident those are behind her.

The tall Texan showed tremendous potential in her pro debut when she landed in the fifth place position. If she corrects a few things for this contest, you'll see her competing for an Olympia qualification.

The minor mistakes she made were in suit choice, tanning and her posing. A new suit, better tan and more relaxed presentation will take care of those items. Jodie tells me she will be a little leaner for this show and feels great.

Jodie Minear At The 2010 Phoenix Pro. Jodie Minear At The 2010 Phoenix Pro.
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Jodie Minear At The 2010 Phoenix Pro.
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4. Cheryl Brown:
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Cheryl competed in this contest last year as an amateur and left with a second place finish in her class.

She'll likely be one of the top names called out and I wouldn't be shocked if she's being compared next to Heather Mae French for the win. I could see her as high as second and a win isn't out of the question as she collected one of those late last year in Kentucky.

Cheryl switched trainers the end of last year and the judges has mixed feelings on the presentation she brought to Orlando.

She finished in third place at that event. There's always a learning curve when working with a new trainer and we'll likely see an improved physique at this contest.

Cheryl Brown At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions. Cheryl Brown At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
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Cheryl Brown At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
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5. Marcy Porter:
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I ordinarily wouldn't have Marcy's name down as someone to contend for a top spot but she proved that she is exactly that earlier this month. Marcy placed second at the 2010 Orlando Pro and qualified for the Figure Olympia.

She'll have her hands full at this contest but she's brought her physique up in a big way. My only critique on Marcy is her presentation. I'd like to see her take her time in posing, relax, smile and show off the new physique.

Marcy Porter At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions. Marcy Porter At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
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Marcy Porter At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
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Other Contenders To Watch:
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Tivisay Briceno is always right on the bubble for a top five spot and we just never know which physique she'll bring to the stage. If she's not too lean and presents a nice full physique she could be in the mix.

Tivisay Briceno At The 2009 Atlantic City Pro. Tivisay Briceno At The 2009 Atlantic City Pro.
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Tivisay Briceno At The 2009 Atlantic City Pro.
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Taylor Condren (formerly Gallagher) will be making her pro debut at this event. She turned pro at 2009 NPC Nationals besting a monster line-up in the D class. If she's on point you could see her make some noise at this event.

Taylor Gallagher At The 2009 Nationals. Taylor Gallagher At The 2009 Nationals.
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Taylor Gallagher At The 2009 Nationals.
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Holly Beck will also be making her pro debut and presents a super tiny waist. She was the F class winner at the '09 Nationals.

Holly Beck At The 2009 Nationals. Holly Beck At The 2009 Nationals.
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Holly Beck At The 2009 Nationals.
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There's a number of other women who could sneak into the top five but it will be tough. It's no disrespect to them but a testament of how competitive the line-up will be.

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IFBB Pro Bikini Predictions
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The early stages of this event looked like it might be a preview of the first bikini Olympia. A few of the top names have been removed since the original list but it's still going to be a competitive show.

This will be the first pro bikini show where the women's IFBB Head Judge, Sandy Williamson will be calling the action. Look for this show to really set the precedence of what's to come in the bikini division.

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1. Nathalia Melo:
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Nathalia's competitive career isn't long but it's been productive. She won the overall NPC bikini title at the 2009 Ft. Lauderdale Cup and continued her winning ways with a first place finish at the 2010 Orlando Pro.

Nathalia has, in my opinion, the best presentation of any bikini competitor on the pro stage. It's flirtatious without being cheesy.

She presents with confidence and you can't help but taking a double and triple look at her physique. When she poses on stage, it's reminiscent of a photo shoot. She holds her poses, smiles and presents her best angles. Photos don't do this woman justice but they come close.

Nathalia Melo Moreira At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions. Nathalia Melo Moreira At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
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Nathalia Melo Moreira At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
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2. Sonia Gonzales:
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Sonia has gone two for two in her pro bikini career. She made the transition from figure to bikini and done so with success. There's no disputing that Sonia is a stunning woman.

She's received some criticism for her physique but most of it is unwarranted. Sonia's biggest challenge is rocking the stage with confidence, a little sass and posing her physique in a flattering way.

Again photos don't do her justice and when in person, you get a very different look at her physique.

Sonia Gonzales At The 2010 MuscleContest Pro Bikini. Sonia Gonzales At The 2010 MuscleContest Pro Bikini.
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Sonia Gonzales At The 2010 MuscleContest Pro Bikini.
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3. Jaime Baird:
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Jaime has a rock'n physique and is no stranger to the winner's circle on this stage. She took home top honors in 2009 as an amateur and will look to do so this year as a pro. Many people feel she has the best presentation of all the bikini pros.

I have a slightly different opinion, but hey we all know what they say about opinions. I feel like Jaime's presentation is too rehearsed and at times doesn't flow naturally.

It's not to say she presents poorly, because she doesn't. It's a matter of personal taste on this one. She placed second at the 2010 Orlando Pro and will look to move up a spot here.

Jaime Baird At The 2009 USA's. Jaime Baird At The 2009 USA's.
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Jaime Baird At The 2009 USA's.
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4. Alea Suarez:
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Alea was out of the top five at the 2009 Muscle Contest show earlier this year but many, myself included, felt she could have been placed higher.

I like her physique and if she comes in just a bit softer then she was at the California show I can see her in the top call-out here. She definitely has a bikini body with nice muscle tone. We'll see how she fares this weekend.

Alea Suarez At The 2010 MuscleContest Pro Bikini. Alea Suarez At The 2010 MuscleContest Pro Bikini.
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Alea Suarez At The 2010 MuscleContest Pro Bikini.
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5. Tianna Ta:
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Tianna has come a long way over the last year. I saw her take the stage at the MAXIM Octagon girl contest last May and that physique looks nothing like the one she has today.

She continued to improve and tighten up throughout 2009 and was awarded her pro card at the 2009 NPC Nationals.

If she presents her physique in the right way she should to well here. Presentation will make or break her in Pittsburgh. If she's slow and controlled on stage she'll be in the mix.

Tianna Ta At The 2009 Nationals. Tianna Ta At The 2009 Nationals.
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Tianna Ta At The 2009 Nationals.
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Other Contenders To Watch:
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Kira Rivera has a great little physique and if she makes herself stand out a bit more with her posing, she'll be a contender here. I was very impressed with the physique she brought to the stage in Orlando.

Kira Rivera At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions. Kira Rivera At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
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Kira Rivera At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
View More Pics Of Kira Rivera At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.

Jessica Lawrence has a good physique but her height can make her appear tall and dare I say skinny. She's not skinny at all but some of her poses make her appear that way. Again, the presentation can make or break you in a line-up like this.

Jessica Lawrence At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions. Jessica Lawrence At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
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Jessica Lawrence At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
View More Pics Of Jessica Lawrence At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.

Janet Harding had a solid debut in Orlando where she finished 5th. She'll have some stiff competition here but will hold her own.

Janet Harding At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions. Janet Harding At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
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Janet Harding At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
View More Pics Of Janet Harding At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.

Kat Holmes was off the mark and sick in Orlando. Look for her to bring an improved physique this time around.

Kat Holmes At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions. Kat Holmes At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
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Kat Holmes At The 2010 Europa Show of Champions.
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Guest Posers
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Wow, this is one guest posing list! Fans will want to attend for the guest posing alone. We'll see top Olympia contenders take the same stage for the only time before September.

Two-time Arnold Classic champ and new Weider athlete, Kai Greene always puts on an entertaining display. Reigning Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler will be in the house to provide a look at his off-season conditioning. Dexter "The Blade" Jackson is on a mission to redeem himself at the Olympia. How will he look in his off-season prep?

Kai Greene At The 2010 Arnold Classic. Kai Greene At The 2010 Arnold Classic.
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Kai Greene At The 2010 Arnold Classic.
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Last year's Mr. Olympia runner-up, Branch Warren will be in attendance and take the freak factor to a new level. Speaking of freaks, fans will get a glimpse at Zack Khan. This dude is an absolute beast! The man many felt should have won the 2010 Arnold Classic, Phil "The Gift" Heath will be in attendance.

Branch Warren At The 2010 Arnold Classic. Branch Warren At The 2010 Arnold Classic.
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Branch Warren At The 2010 Arnold Classic.
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Victor Martinez will showcase his physique and give fans a preview of how he's doing in his off-season. Big Bad Ronnie Coleman is always a fan favorite and will be fist pumping and posing this Saturday.

Victor Martinez At The 2009 Olympia. Victor Martinez At The 2009 Olympia.
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Victor Martinez At The 2009 Olympia.
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The man who will be in the best shape and give fans a look ahead what's to come next week in New York is Dennis Wolf. Dennis will be one week out from the NY PRO and it should be freaky.

Dennis Wolf At The 2009 Olympia. Dennis Wolf At The 2009 Olympia.
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Dennis Wolf At The 2009 Olympia.
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Event Information
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Contest Venue:

Schedule Of Events:

    Friday, April 30
    IFBB Figure/Bikini Mandatory Meeting: 5:00 pm
    NPC Mandatory Check-in/Weigh-In: 4:00 - 7:00 pm

    Saturday, May 1
    Meeting - NPC competitors: 8:00 am
    Prejudging: 9:00 am
    All Competitors: 5:30 pm
    Finals Begin: 6:00 pm

For more information visit: http://garyudit.com/npcPittsburgh_main.html

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