Steve Buccilli on the 2006 NPC Teen, Collegiate and Masters Nationals

Kim Buck gets her trophy for the women's Masters Nationals win from Debbie
, who went pro at the Team Universe in 2005.

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 for him.

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 win.

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 Reeves.

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 enjoyable.

Thanks to Martin and Mike and Gerry for lunch and great company.

It was a long but very enjoyable night.

July 2006