Guest Poser Jay Cutler showed up large and in charge for the third time in a row. Many people had never seen a pro bodybuilder in person and couldn't stop talking about seeing cuts.
Friday - April 2, 2004
Nestled in the Rocky Mountains of Boulder, Colorado competitors checked in on Friday evening. The Friday registration was well received by the competitors and the NPC staff. Many shows have morning check-in which tend to delay prejudging due to the number of sign-ups that didn't pre-register.
A streamlined process was in place for registration, which helped move things along quickly. IFBB Figure Pro Chaundra Tangi could be seen giving out NPC cards while eating her plain chicken breast. Chaundra is currently prepping for The IFBB California State Figure Pro Championships. Another IFBB Pro Carla Sanchez showed up with her always impressive, Performance Ready Team. (http://www.performanceready.com)
Her girls were nervous yet excited to compete, many of them would be competing for the first time. National level bodybuilder, Big Will Owens (http://www.willowens.com) was lending a helping hand at check-in and all smiles as usual. At the end of the evening the staff new it was going to be a long day ahead, especially with the number of competitors.
Saturday - April 3, 2004
8am - Competitors meeting started with Head judge Rick Kasten explaining how the show would run throughout the day. The staff handed out the competitor numbers, collected their routine music and wished them good luck. Prejudging started at 10:15, which was welcome news to the large crowd.
The fitness competitors kicked the morning off by performing their routines first. After a few kinks were worked out with the sound guy, things were on a roll. There were a number of very impressive routines, a few of which could hold their own on the National level. Pretty amazing given that this was most of the women's first time on stage. It was pretty clear who the leaders of the pack were once the routines were over.
A change in schedule kept things moving along quickly for the women. Typically the men and women's bodybuilding is inter-mixed with the 3 routines of the fitness competitors. This show had all fitness and figure women going back to back. Competitors could be seen scrambling suits changed, hair done and look all pretty for the judges.
The majority of the women were happy that all the rounds were run back-to-back so they could leave and get some rest. The figure competitors ranged from totally shredded to needing to do a little more homework and come back better prepared. This show is typically a "first timers" show. It tends to be a show to "test the waters" and see how you do.
Many competitors get bitten by the competition bug and come back later in the year. Since this wasn't a national qualifying show, look for a few of the same competitors to show up later in the year that are.
While the fitness and figure 1 and 2 piece rounds were being wrapping up, 3x Arnold Classic winner, Jay Cutler was in the lobby signing autographs and smiling for the cameras. Since the evening show had sold out 3 days prior to the show, many people were disappointed they wouldn't get to see Jay guest pose.
Promoter Jeff Taylor let Jay know about this and Cuts agreed to pose for the morning crowd. This is unheard of for guest posers to perform for prejudging. It showed what a true champion Jay is by giving the crowd one helluva display. Iron Jay stepped out on stage and the crowd went wild. Hitting a few poses on stage, Jay went into the crowd, flexed and flexed some more. Fans followed him around taking snap shots on their camera phones.
Given the number of figure and fitness competitors, the morning quickly fell into the afternoon. Around 1:15 the fitness and figure judging was complete. The staff was a little worried about running short on time as the evening show started at 6pm. Fortunately, the rest of the pre-judging flew by and things wrapped up slightly after 3pm.
Women's bodybuilding had a large number of master's competitors. It was an awesome to see women over 40 in bodybuilding. The teen bodybuilding division had 3-4 guys who are on their way to great things if they keep up the hard work. You don't see many teenagers with the discipline these guys showed.
The men's bodybuilding had a wide range of physiques much like the women's figure. Many competitors showed it was their first show but you have to give them props for stepping on stage. Each class had one or two guys who dialed it in but it was clear whom it would come down to in the overalls later that night. Not to be outdone by the women, the men's masters division had competitors in their 50's on stage.
Prejudging finished, competitors left to eat, nap and chill out. The staff was hard a work getting the trophies in order, hanging banners and setting up for the evening show. Wrapping things up around 5pm left little time for everyone to freshen up, change and be ready for the evening show.
The competitors meeting started shortly after 5pm. You could see the relief on many of the pro-tanned faces. The staff explained that most of the judging was complete and now is when the fun part really starts. This was what all the their family and friends had come to see - their routines and showing off their hard work.
The evening show started on time with the always comical, Jeff Taylor Mcing the show. The fitness competitors started the night off with their routines. You could see many of the competitors were more relaxed and enjoyed themselves. Fitness short competitor, Carla Weimer wowed the crowd with her flips and gymnastics, not to mention her leopard outfit.
Carla went on to win the Fitness short class. The fitness tall class was smaller in the number of competitors but not in caliber by any means. Melissa Nutt showed amazing strength and great stage presence. She was all smiles when finishing, partially because her music didn't skip as it had in prejudging. Melissa conditioning was far superior to any other woman on stage. This helped her win the overall fitness and figure titles.
Women's bodybuilding pitted Marina Popeka, Ruth Hiatt, Felicia Renez and Brianna Franklin against each other for the overall title. While Franklin had more mass, Hiatt was better conditioned and went home the champ.
Men's Teen winner Sean Wright demonstrated how you could improve and learn from each show. He showed up better conditioned then in his previous show. Standing next to Wright the others competitors could see they needed to work on their color for future competitions.
Men's Novice Overall winner Eric Brown was ecstatic to say the least. His conditioning was great but didn't have the mass needed when going against the men in the open class. The Overall Open Class had Greg Choate, Craig Bradshaw, Tim Beamer and Howard Bell battling it out for a year contact with MGM supplements and an embroidered NPC jacket. Bell already a winner in the overall master's class, cruised to victory.
He showed good thickness in his back and nice muscle maturity. Beamer showed excellent conditioning but needed more mass when going up against the heavyweight. The team trophy was awarded to Tiffany Yee's Body Statement. She had a number of fitness and figure competitors all placing in the show.
The show came to a close with Jay Cutler rocking the house. Jay looked full and hard when he stepped on the stage. It's great to see pros guest posing in near contest shape. He stopped and posed numerous times for the cameras. Once back on stage he thanked the crowd for their support and look forward to coming back a 4x Arnold Champ next year. Jeff Taylor has booked Jay to come back next year as the guest poser for the 4th year in a row. The crowd loves Jay and he's sold out the Boulder Theater two years in a row.
A Word From NPC Colorado Chairman, Jeff Taylor
This year's NPC Northern CO was bigger than usual with 83 competitors, (plus 42 crossovers). What I love about this show is that it is consistently a big show for first timers. With over half getting onstage for their first time and not even ten who had been in more than two shows, this makes for a level playing field for the newbie.
The crazy thing is that these first timers are showing up in amazing shape--and winning classes and some overalls! I have to say that once again, the fitness and figure, (36 competitors), was Jr. Nationals level competition. Carla Sanchez and the other trainers are really doing an amazing job getting these women ready to go onstage.
And I can't say enough about IFBB Pro Jay Cutler. Not only one of the best bodybuilders of all time, but one of the coolest. Since we had a sellout at the night show since the Wednesday before, quite a few people could not get tickets to see the 3x Arnold Champ. So, in typical Jay Cutler style, he guest posed at the Prejudging! Jay is truly a class act. I have had him guest pose at this show for the past three years. That is unheard of, but Jay is so popular in CO, I am going to make it four in a row and bring him out to the Boulder Theater again in '05!
Jay kicked off a mega year for the NPC here in Colorado, with 3 of the top 5 Mr.O finishers guest posing in '04!
NPC Colorado Chairman
For more photos and complete results visit jefftaylor.com. GUNTER SCHLIERKAM & 6-TIME MR. OLYMPIA RONNIE COLEMAN will be guest posing at upcoming shows for the Rocky Mountain Region.
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