After months of preparation, contest day isn't just another day. Looking back, contest day memories are largely a blur punctuated with moments that really stand out - all the months of preparation and weeks of dieting leave us frazzled, on edge, and staring at the luck of the draw - exhaustion crowding us yet with heightened awareness.
Memories we go away with aren't predictable so there's a relieving blessing when things seem to go right. Competitors at the 11th annual Texas Shredder Classic were greeted to a slightly balmy, low 80s temperature punctuated by a crystal blue sky day: beautiful springtime in Austin.
A day of festivals and live music events throughout the city, seemingly the opening acts leading up to the Shredder Classic that evening. And this year was a new first: the NPC Texas Shredder Classic.
Especially noteworthy were the Men's and Women's classes of Masters (past 40) competitions: while bodybuilding publications place almost exclusive emphasis on younger competitors, the Shredder Classic's entries for Masters classes accounted for more than 20% of the competition.
Bodybuilding publications better take notice: that arbitrary, artificial dividing line "past-40" rarely includes past-50 and past-60, thus ignoring a robust group of today's competitors.
Before Dave Goodin arrived on the scene, Austin was known as the Capitol of Texas. Since Dave started the Texas Shredder Classic, Austin earned the reputation for being the Capitol of Texas' drug-free, natural bodybuilding due to his tireless efforts.
And once again he put on a smoothly run, peerless contest before a packed house at the Texas School for the Deaf in South Austin. This year's Shredder marked new sanctioning of the event for the first time by the NPC.
In addition to displaying some of the finest physiques in North America, the Texas Shredder Classic promotes the importance of the drug-free lifestyle. It shows everyone that it is possible to build strong healthy bodies without the use of dangerous drugs. In order to promote healthy living and the drug-free lifestyle, we need the support of as many companies and individuals as possible.
The show opened with guest poser, Austin's own Austin Barbisch presenting his unique mixture of posing and comedic skins, stirring the audience with equal measures of applause and laughter.
Women's Novice Bodybuilding:Women's Novice Bodybuilding competition was limited to t he lightweight class, taken by the great posing of Desiree Aguirre - who was also awarded the overall title for Women's Novice competition. Second place went to Julie Brandon who did well despite not using body tanning paint.
Open Women's Bodybuilding:
Competition opened with the Open Women's Bodybuilding divisions. Karen Fletcher placed first and Cheryl Davis took second. Both will likely advance through the ranks with more attention to leg work. !
Women's Open middleweight division posed a tough choice between
Mary Moran-Parker and
Susan Gladden. Both displayed good overall development of matured muscle. After a twenty year layoff for a family, Mary's comeback won this class along with the overall Women's Open title portending greater things to come.
Open Women was taken by the amazing Mary Moran-Parker. It was announced that she was the 1988 NPC open cup champion, and then took off for only twenty years to have and raise a family. Let it be known that Mary's back, sweeping several class titles on her way to the overall Open Women's win.
There's no history to be found on the web showing how she looked 20 years ago, so comparisons aren't possible. Nevertheless, she confirms the words of Orson Wells in those commercials when he declared "no wine before it's time."
Mary's matured physique reigned over competitors half her age, giving notice of moving forward from where she left off in her bodybuilding career.
Men's Novice Bodybuilding:
Novice Men's competition was spread across three classes.
Bradford Foulds dominated in the lightweight division, followed by Sam Felts and Rocky Botello, respectively second and third places.
Joshua Taylor and
Curt Curtis rounded competition out in fourth and fifth places.
Austin Police Officer
Craig Ritchie reigned supreme in the middleweight class, followed by Paul Castellano in second, Corbie Holcomb as third, Theo Thurston fourth, and Jim Nettles in fifth.
Men's Heavyweight class was won by the flawless posing of Amechi Chinweze was followed by Jimmy Aleman, second, Christopher Baugh, third, and James Thomas finishing fourth.
Novice Men's overall winner Chris Ritchie may well prove to be one of those mystery men whose first contest is a stunning victory, and then seemingly pass off in the sunset never to be heard from again.
Coming in as an unknown, his combination of densely developed muscle, incredible overall balance, and cut appearance gained immediate attention.
His win, while closely battled with Amechi Chinweze, met audience wild audience approval. In the wake of his victory, hearing him say this would be not only his first but also last contest came as astonishing.
Apparently he wanted to give it a try by putting everything into it and the rest is history. No doubt valiant efforts will be made to convince him to move forward in the future. The man has a gift.
Open Men's Bodybuilding:
Open Men's lightweight class by excellent posing displaying the very balanced physique of
Chris Heitman - a display holding the crowd captivated and applauding in hearty approval. Not to be out done, grandfather of five, 61 year old
Reed Masters triumphed with second place.
The fluid posing of
Antoine Williams landed third position, while the great posing of
Jerry Buentello took fourth.
Gene Wallis finished off the class with fifth place.
With what appeared to be another closes call for top position,
Richard Conner emerged as first place with his striated pecs and a short posing routine carrying him middleweight victory.
Most cut of the class,
Robert Ramsey, captured second place in contrast to the rather smooth
Carlos Mayfield taking third. Top three were all excellent. Young and still growing
Taylor Barford of Austin finished fourth.
Rounding out the Men's Open division were the heavyweights. The very cut
Matt Grube occupied first place: evidencing plenty of room for growth in the future, keep an eye on this young man. The smooth posing routine of past-50
Don Strickland carried second place, while another 50+ athlete,
Mickey Morris, placed third.
Open Men's overall winner Chris Hietman exemplified covering all bases well is what it takes to win. In outstanding condition, his development and trained down condition were masterfully displayed with a well honed posing routine. We look forward to witnessing more victories by this fellow.
Women's Open Figure competition fielded numerous competitors for both Class A and B. Class A (5'4" and under) winners were Kandace Shelby for first, Sharlyn Thames second, Ashley Pardo third, La'Toya Bigelow fourth, and Laurie Khan for fifth.
Class B over 5'4") places were: Rasha Didier first, Brenda Mikalajunas second, Nicole Spurgeon third, Tanaya Hudson fourth, and Marsha Cano fifth.
Open Figure overall winner
Kandace Shelby was met with a tidal wave of applause as her win was announced, including an echoing woman's voice proudly declaring "that's my daughter." How could the audience not share in the joy of family and friends in that moment of hard won victory?
Masters Women Bodybuilding:
Masters Women Bodybuilding first place went to Mary Moron-Parker, second to Susan Gladden, third to Karen Fletcher, and fourth to Cheryl Davis. In common, these Masters might just as well be called Matured! All around development characterized them all.
Men Masters 40+:
Men Masters 40+ competition went to Don Strickland for an impressive display, second to Michael Allen, while Rob Peterson took third.
Novice Figure competition presented judges with the headaches inherent in many fine competitors. Class A victory went to Amber Passini, second to
Amanda Harris, third to Rebecca Gregory, Erika Ingram as fourth, and Tammy Kenmitz in fifth place.
|Amanda Harris "Barbie Barbell" at the Texas Shredder.
Class B was taken by Adrien Johnson, Krist Bass second, Alicia Juergens in third, Sheryl Hopkins fourth, and fifth place to Shanna Cahill.
Masters Figure 35+:
Masters Figure 35+ (35-44 years of age) was taken by the impressive Rasha Didier, second to Cheryl Hopkins, third to Tammy Kenmitz, fourth to Laurie Kahn, while Ruth Elliot rounded out winnings in fifth place.
Masters Figure 45+:
Masters Figure 45+ was won by Lulu Olson, with Carita Costa of Womack's taking second, and Sally Christian-Carnal coming in third.
Men's Masters 50+:
Quite a group of matured musclemen made their presence known in the Men's Masters 50+ competition. The impressive 61 year old Reed Masters triumphed in this class, with a close second going to large muscled Gary Benkendorf due to his great posing, third to the very ripped Theo Thurston.
Teen Figure competitors equally astonished the audience. Multiple women's powerlifting record holder at the young age of 16, Amanda Harris came in first, while a very mature Katy Little took second looking far older than her 13 years.
Teen Men's bodybuilding competition was won by the very impressive Mihn Diep whose overall development and cut quads spoke for themselves.
Despite no body tan paint, Luis Alvarez came in second due to well rehearsed posing and uncommon muscle control. Nick Thompson took third, Aaron Shonk in fourth (who courageously did improvised posing due to music failure), and Mirel Gandhi in fifth place.
All three Open Division winners were awarded NPC Championships rings along with commemorative sword sets, as well as becoming qualified for NPC national competitions leading to Team Universe contests.