Review by Jim Britain
Photos by StoryFoto
Boise's best bodies were shown in this epic battle of bodybuilding and figure competitors. Many athletes traveled from as far as Texas and Alaska to see what kind of talent we had hidden in the Treasure Valley. Friends, family and fans were rocked as these athletes walked across the stage on April 4th, 2009.
Contest promoter and owner of Performance Promotions Derek Snelson traveled all the way from Alaska to put on this great show in the city of trees. He is a long time supporter of natural bodybuilding. Derek rounded up the help and support from Allen Bowlden, one of Idaho's top pro bodybuilders, to be the head judge.
The MC for the night was our local favorite Lance Henning. His sense of humor keeps the crowd laughing in between cheers. Lance has a long history of supporting the sport of bodybuilding and we look forward to him being a long lasting commentator for all of our local events. He is employed at Gym Outfitters so he knows his way around the gym himself.
The show started off with the junior men's division with an up and coming 18 year old bodybuilder named Eric Cafferty. Eric started playing hockey and weight training his freshman year and liked the changes in his physique. After dieting for two and a half months he decided to step on stage.
He owes a big thanks to local pro bodybuilder, Craig Toth for his help with the preparation of his first contest. Being the lone competitor in this division, he accepted first place.
Novice Men Light Weight:
The novice classes this year were filled with talent. This contest was definitely an experience of a lifetime and I'm sure many of them have now got the contest bug. Once you experience the fulfillment of getting on stage and seeing all your hard work come to fruition, you will most likely compete again and again.
Caine Daughtery placed first in the novice light weight class with his great stage presence and posing routine. Mike Hernandez, representing team Hollibaugh, came in a close second with his great symmetry and a smile from ear to ear as he was handed his first big shiny trophy. The third place trophy went to Andrew Hedley who trains at Gold's gym in Boise.
Rounding out the division was Mitchell Hedrick in fourth and in fifth was Brandon Patrick. With a little more size on the wheels of Mitchell and a little more conditioning for Brandon these guys could be well on their way to a victory.
Novice Men Heavy Weight:
These two competitors battled it out pose for pose, both working up a sweat as the judges put them through the mandatory's. Mike Olson was awarded first place and Ryan Etchart was awarded second. When Mike Olson packs some size on his legs he will be a force to be reckoned with.
Wayne Green dominated this class of 3 bodybuilders over forty. At forty-nine years of age he keeps in shape for his day job as a Spokane, Washington Sherriff.
Second place was awarded to long time Boise bodybuilder Duskin Johnson who recently came back from a torn pectoral surgery, which was not evident on stage. Third place was awarded to Aaron Herrgesell who keeps himself busy with two professions. One being a Personal Trainer and the second being a Drywall Contractor.
Grand Masters Men:
This lone competitor is fifty-eight years of age and is badly in need of some competition in the Grand Masters division. Lindsay Knight is the current and four time Grand Master Mr. Alaska champion and ready to take on the world.
As you can see he came in conditioned and ready for any division. His conditioning is most likely acquired through his active lifestyle. This fitness professional and gym owner spends a lot of time navigating a kayak.
Masters Women Over 35:
Another lone competitor Maria Cheatham, local Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, was ready for some competition on stage. She sends many thanks to Dorian and Ronnie at Idaho Athletic Club, Jeremiah at Fit Physique for training and contest prep. And special thanks to friends and family for the never ending support and encouragement.
Women's Figure Over 35:
As a judge I dreaded this particular division. It is hard to judge a class of such beautiful women. Every contestant had great attributes which set them apart from their fellow competitors. Staci Meredith pulled ahead in points with her great stage presence and six-foot two inches of slender, conditioned build.
In a close second place was Celeste McCloy, who trains hard at Gold's Gym in Meridian. Taking third was Krista Shurlow, a stay at home mom, who finds time to break away to Gold's Gym Park Center in Boise. Fourth place was awarded to Marla Johnson, and a fifth place medal was given to Abby Ferguson.
Women's Figure Short:
Celeste Mcloy jumped up the ranks and placed higher than in her previous class, the over 35 division, placing first with her bright smile and proud demeanor. Placing second was Krista Furlow and third Jessie Naylor.
Kim Rose-Niclson, General Manager of Anytime Fitness in Nampa is no stranger to the fitness world, place fourth. Abby Ferguson trains at Gold's on Cole in Boise and took fifth place tonight.
Women's Figure Tall:
In the tall ladies class Staci Meredith's natural smile and good looks made her a popular standout tonight as she dominated every division. Dawn Toth, mother of two, who was awarded second in the class made a great showing for her first time out. With a little work on her posing she will no doubt dominate this sport.
Taking third was no stranger to the stage Marla Johnson. And fourth place was awarded to Blair Thompson who just finished a body transformation challenge at her place of employment. She just recently shed some unwanted pounds and molds her physique at Flex Fitness in the small town of Jerome, Idaho.
The bikini division is rare in the bodybuilding, figure and fitness contest world but will most likely become a new crowd favorite. With only one competitor, Bruq Hernandez, this class was short but sweet. Bruq is a dental assistant by trade and enjoys working out, snowboarding, gymnastics and swimming in her spare time.
Her shapely body in no doubt the result of her very active lifestyle with hobbies for every season.
Marla and Duskin Johnson have been performing in the mixed pairs division for many years and it is evident on stage that their strong marriage and love for fitness are just two of many strong bonds they have to keep them together.
Their flawless physiques complement each other well as they glide across the stage from pose to pose in perfect unison. The crowd roared as Duskin effortlessly lifted Marla up onto his shoulders and paraded her proudly around in circles before lowering her gently into an enchanting final pose.
Men's Open Light Weight:
The light weight open class was comprised of three competitors that have crossed over from other divisions earlier in the evening. Mike Hernandez would come out on top this time around and was awarded another trophy to add to his collection.
No stranger to the stage, Lindsay Knight took second and will now have to figure out how to get all of his trophies from this evening home on the airplane. That is a good problem to have! Third place was awarded to Brandon Patrick.
Men's Open Middle Weight:
Eric Lockley, an active duty Air Force mass monster stunned the audience with his well developed physique. With large muscle bellies and great conditioning he drove the crowd wild as he shook the stage with every pose. He did a great job of utilizing the whole stage as he performed his smooth and upbeat routine.
A local favorite at the ripe young age of 22 is Ryan Suydam representing Bodybuilding.com. Ryan recently went through a transformation contest and lost over 30 pounds. Ryan snatched the second place trophy and showed the crowd what can be accomplished with dedication to fitness and nutrition, not to mention a little help from good genetics.
His symmetry was unmatched on stage and with a little more fine tuning on the final days of contest prep he will be one of Boise's best in the near future.
Aaron Herrgesell received a third place trophy. Rounding out the class were fourth place Jas Krdzalic and fifth place winner Mitchell Hedrick.
Men's Open Light-Heavy Weight:
One of the most exciting divisions of the evening was the light-heavy weights. With eight competitors this division was a crowd favorite and a judge's nightmare. Every competitor had strong attributes with an overall great balance of lean muscle mass.
Wayne Green squeaked out a first place win over Daniel Rosenthal. These two competitors looked like twins with an almost identical build. Third place was awarded to Chris Ward whose great conditioning and posing edged out the rest of the fearsome competitors.
Men's Open Heavy Weight:
Duskin Johnson received first place and collected his third trophy for the evening. Local personal trainer Damien Houle received second as he towered over the trophy girl. For Damien this contest was merely a warm up for many contests in his near future. Damien will be competing in the 2009 NGA Northwest Naturals contest.
As the contest winds toward the end we take the first place competitors from each open class and have them pose down for overall show winners. They battle it out in a final posedown to determine who transformed their bodies to be the best on this given day. For the men's bodybuilding divisions the overall winner was Wayne Green. And in the women's figure division was Staci Meredith.
Men's Pro Natural:
The audience sat on the edge of their seat as the three pro bodybuilders strutted out on stage. With years of shedding blood, sweat and tears, these mass monsters were ready to pose down and remind the crowd what a work of art you can mold your body into with a lot of self discipline and dedication.
The posedown looked more like a rugby match as they pushed and shoved their way around the stage battling for best position. From striated glutes and intercostals to bulging pecs and quadriceps, these pro athletes brought their best to the stage tonight planning on leaving with a sweaty fist full of prize money.
Coming all the way from Texas to run away with another pro class was Zack Barnard. Wanting to avenge his 2008 loss to 205 pound shredded Craig Toth, Zack put on his game face and dialed it in to win over the judges this year. After a brutal battle Zack walked away with the prize money and was awarded a $500 watch for best poser in the pro class. The point spread was all over the board with this pro class. It boiled down to overall stage presence and symmetry.
Zack can now use this trophy as bragging rights and show that the "proof is In the pudding" as he trains his young clients to excel in . He dedicates the majority of his time in Texas running his own strength training business called MaxOut. He also breeds English Bulldogs. You know what they say about pets looking like their owners!
In third place was Mark Tilden, a local Personal Fitness Trainer, and no stranger to the stage. Over the years we have watched him work his way up from novice to the pro ranks while somehow finding the balance between being a family man, and holding down two jobs. His beautiful wife Allison gave us goose bumps at the evening show as she sang the National Anthem. At age 41, Mark shows no sign of slowing down his fast paced life and plans to dominate many upcoming contests around the northwest.
This show went off without a hitch and we are looking forward to the coming years of this contest as the list of competitors is grows quickly. The sport of bodybuilding, figure and fitness could not happen without the continuing support from friends, family and personal trainers' who dedicate their time to help push these athletes to strive for personal perfection.
Thank you to all of the local sponsors who helped support this contest. Gold's Gym, Elements Therapeutic Massage, Gym Outfitters, Jus, Bodybuilding.com, Natural Freak, EFX, KreAlkalyn, RockHard Formulations, and Fit Physique.
[ View The 2009 ABFF Gold's Classic Pictures Here! ]