2009 NPC Teen, Collegiate, and Masters National Championships,

a contest report by
Gerry Triano, all photos courtesy Socalphotographer

Held: July 17-18, 2009
Location: Sheraton Station Square Hotel Ballroom, Pittsburgh, Pennsylania
Sponsor: GNC
Promoter: Gary Udit

This is one of the premier NPC events in the country. As always, Gary Udit deserves credit for promoting a fan-friendly as well as competitor-friendly environment. Competitors in all divisions and disciplines – numbering 394 in all -- participated in this always tough and exciting event.

In the Teen division, there were men and women's bodybuilding, as well as women's fitness and figure competitions. In the Collegiate division, there were competitors in men's bodybuilding, figure and bikini. In the Masters division, there were competitions in men's bodybuilding (over 40, over 50, over 60, over 70 – and, new this year, over 80), women's bodybuilding (over 35, over 45, over 55), figure (over 35, over 45, over 55) and over 35 bikini (new this year). Within a division, crossover was allowed if an athlete qualified for more than one age group (i.e., over 40 and over 50 bodybuilding). The only exception was that crossover between figure and bikini was not permitted.

Stan Efferding   Lawrence Hunt

This contest is an IFBB pro qualifier in certain divisions, which has created a wider visibility for competitors doing the show. The following athletes became eligible for pro status: overall winner and overall runner up in the men's over 40 bodybuilding (super-heavyweight winner Stan Efferding and light-heavyweight winner Lawrence Hunt respectively), overall winner in the men's over 50 bodybuilding (Tony Jones), overall winner of the men's over 60 bodybuilding (Doug Kochneff), overall winner of the women's over 35 bodybuilding (Tracy Mason), overall winner of the figure over 35 (Marie Ann Newman), overall winner of figure over 45 (Elisa Schlichter), and overall winner of the bikini over 35 (Khanh Nguyen). Pro eligibility was offered to the overall winner of the women's over 45 bodybuilding, which Tracy Mason also won. Since this was the second time that one athlete won two pro opportunities (it happened at the 2008 IFBB North Americans, with Marc LaVoie winning the overall open and over 40 bodybuilding events), a rule was instituted after this show to prevent such an occurrence. Now, should an athlete who crosses over wins a second pro opportunity, the runner up in that second overall group will get a pro card. Congratulations to all the new IFBB pros.

Tony Jones   Doug Kochneff

Tracy Mason   Elissa Schlichter

As an example of Gary Udit's athlete-friendly approach, he scheduled an early weigh-in and check-in on Thursday evening as well as Friday morning. This gives the athletes latitude based on their schedules and current weight. Bodybuilders must weigh in to determine which weight class they compete in; at the weigh-in, height of figure and bikini competitors is also taken to determine their class.

Held Friday evening, the first prejudge featured bikini competitors and all masters men. Bikini competitors performed a model stance and front and rear turns. Bodybuilders were compared in quarter turns, performed a short posing routine to house music, and then comparison callouts followed in the mandatory poses to determine the top five competitors in each class.

This was one of most difficult men’s masters shows ever. Especially noteworthy was the over 40 light-heavyweight class, with thirty-six competitors. When such top athletes as four-time national class winner Lance Johnson, Emerald Cup  class winner Randy Edwards, and nationally ranked George Giraldo do not make first callout, that indicates the depth of competition. Prejudge is pivotal to any competition. A competitor doesn’t win a trophy at this juncture, but can well lose it.

Lance Johnson   Randy Edwards

Held Saturday morning, the second prejudge covered the Teen and Collegiate divisions, as well as masters women bodybuilders and figure competitors.  Women bodybuilders perform the same prejudge regimen as the men (except that women do not do a most muscular pose in callouts). Figure competitors execute model poses and are compared in quarter turns.

All competitors (except Teen Fitness, performed and awarded earlier) appeared at the night show. In bodybuilding, all competitors are introduced by class, and the top five in each class perform a 60-second posing routine. Trophies are awarded by class, and then class winners pose down for the overall trophy for that division. One highlight was Karl Marshall, returning for the first time since winning his last over 70 award in 2006. Karl made a popular and inspiring return to win (unchallenged) the first over 80 trophy.  Trophy presenters included top NPC competitor Brian Yersky, and IFBB pros Quincy Taylor, Julie Palmer and George Farah.

Karl Marshall

The show ran quickly and expeditiously, especially given the large numbers involved. Gary Udit and Mark Giuliani did a good job of sharing hosting duties and moving the show along.

Uriah McGee
Yumon Eaton

Congratulations to Teen winner Uriah McGee, and Collegiate winner Yumon Eaton. Notable among class winners were over 40 welterweight winner Daniel Stern and over 40 heavyweight winner Rodney Roller. Impressive among other competitors were Jack Friend, Eric Brugh and Brian Smith, all of whom made the cut in their respective classes.

Daniel Stern
Rodney Roller

Jack Friend
Eric Brugh

Brian Smith

This contest was well worth seeing. Repetrope covered the contest, and DVDs of the show will be available soon.
For further coverage of the show, see the following:


Gerry Triano
October 2009