Let me start out by saying this
Pittsburgh show has turned out to be a good time to catch
up with some really great friends. I also get a
chance to meet new people I know from discussion
boards. This year, I met "Hoopie" and his
lovely wife Michelle. It was great meeting you two.
About the show:
First and foremost, let me say this
show has grown too big. The evening show started at 6:00
p.m. and wasn't over until 1:30 a.m.! Some things
need to change. The prejudging for the masters was
held on Friday this year as usual, and thankfully that
went fast. Saturday morning, prejudging for the
teens, collegiates, and all women's contests started
around 9:30 a.m., and didn't finish till after 3:00 p.m.
Perhaps Gary Udit (show promoter) could move the
prejudging and finals for the teens and collegiates to
Friday night, and shift the men's masters prejudging to a
time earlier in the day.
All in all it was a good show, and for the second year in
a row (in my opinion) the women showed more talent and
depth. The winner of the masters women's over-35
reminded me a lot of Lenda Murray. Her name
is Kim Buck. She had an awesome back that
tapered into a small waist, and beautiful sweeping quads
with good separation. She was big, but still maintained a
sense of femininity.
The Teen Nationals winner was a complete surprise. The
classes in the teens were full of young potential, but
lacked depth. In my opinion, lightheavy Alex
Jimenez or middleweight Dave Hawk, Jr. (Dave
Sr. is a pro from the '80s) should have won the
overall; instead, the judges gave it to the heavyweight, James
Seymour. The audience was shocked.
The Collegiate Nationals winner was Mike Rice. He
had tremendous delts, chest, and legs. Huge was the word
The men's Masters Nationals show was interesting to
watch. The 70s class was an inspiration to us all.
The 60s class was awesome to watch. The 50s men
looked very good. James Hampton won the
overall 50s contest and earned a pro card. James
has competed on and off for decades. In the '80s he
was a lightheavy who finished in the top five almost
every year, but never won his class. This has to be the
best I've ever seen James look. Ripped throughout the
arms and delts, he improved his back definition as well.
Although his back lacked thickness, his conditioning
countered that. His quads also improved, looking
very good. His conditioning, aesthetics, and size
kept a very good Randy Leppala from the overall
The over-40 men's masters was a good show, but this year
the contest looked to be losing a little steam. The
weight classes were lower in number, and in depth. Dave
Pulcinella looked awesome and deserved at least 3rd,
but had to settle for 4th in the heavies. The
superheavies went to Rodney Davis, and he did look
good, with an awesome V-taper, but he wasn't as sharp as
he was last year. Still, he managed to get the
second 40s pro card. Third place in the supers went
to Marcus Hudson. Big and tight, he did a
routine that was entertaining. At one point he
yelled out at the very tired and now dwindling audience,
"Do you want to go home?" He deserved
2nd, and possible consideration for 1st.
John Cutri won the heavies and looked the best I'd
ever seen him. Ripped and shredded, with the best
hamstrings in the entire show, he was awesome and
deserved the overall win and his pro card. There
are two types of bodybuilding aesthetics. One is the Flex
Wheeler type, with flowing lines and small tight
waist. The other is more like Steve Reeves, with
everything in proportion. John's physique reminds me of
On another note, it was nice seeing folks I know from
around the Pittsburgh area. Ed is a friend who runs
a successful gym in Leechburg, Pennsylvania. He
knows everyone. I also ran into Bill Wilmore.
Bill is qualified for this year's Olympia and confirmed
he is doing it. He looked huge. When Bill was
a teen, he and I trained at the same gym. He
remembers me from those days, and even took the time to
ask how everything was going, and if I was married and
where I worked. It was nice to know that Bill doesn't
forget the people he once knew.
Thanks to all those I ran into for making the night
Thanks to Martin and Mike and Gerry for lunch and great
It was a long but very enjoyable night.