GRAND RAPIDS 2012 NATIONAL QUALIFIER IFBB
GRAND RAPIDS 2012 NATIONAL QUALIFIER
This was one dynamite show that took place here at Grandville High School in the suburb of Grand Rapids Michigan. There were over 160 competitors vying for the opportunity to receive that qualification that will allow them to jump to that next hurdle in their dream of chasing their pro card in their chosen category. The show did start a little bit late but what show does not run into a snag or two before opening the curtain… Continued Below Pictures
There were a lot of people present for pre judging then what is normally is found at other shows. This show added a new category with a couple of categories in novice for men’s bodybuilding for men never competing in that class or never have won first place in their class as well, this was a major draw for the men causing a lot of cross over into various other categories. The competitors were top notch at the very top of their game it was clear when pre judging started that the judges had their work cut out for them. Judging this show wasn’t going to be an easy task for them.
Night show was amazing with an outstanding arrangement of guest posers. Skye Fisher-Nichols and Tricky Jackson had some amazing routines that got the crowd going and primed for the night festivities. It was great to see Skye back on stage after she suffered a terrible back injury less than three months ago that threatened to end an amazing career.
The night started off with Bikini going first with one of my friends Sarah Walraven competing in her very first show taking home a first place victory in the medium class. The figure class was very a stiff and competitive field with a bunch of great, talented and dedicated women taking the stage in hopes of getting that qualification. I got to speak with the winner of the Tall class Figure Tricia Bailey, a tremendously talented, gifted and very sweet lady about what inspired her to get into competitions. Her response was she was at the Arnold and saw the competitors and vowed to be on that stage competing sometime. She put that plan into play and this year she saw that dream come true as she took the stage on the Arnold. She picked this particular contest because it fell perfectly into her training plans and she plans on competing at the Junior Nationals in Chicago Illinois a month away. I asked her if she had any advice for anyone desiring to get into competitions. Her answer was to find an excellent coach/trainer and follow and listen to them. She thanked her boyfriend Mike for sticking by her side and seeing her through all her competitions. I wish only the best for Tricia in the Junior Nationals in Chicago; she is going to be one to keep your eye on. I do see a pro card for this lady in the near future.
A reoccurring theme from the people that I got to interview including IBFF Pro Toney Freeman was one of inspiration, determination and to never give up no matter what. Bikini Medium winner Sarah Walraven was inspired to enter a show after she got diagnosed with a kidney disease. Here is someone who pushed through the odds of having a kidney disease, going to school full time and being a single mom to overcome all of that and stand on stage. She would drive over 45 minutes twice a week for 6am trainings to meet with her trainer Todd Lee to prepare for this show since late January/early February how many of us would get out of bed around 4 am to prepare for a show? That is what makes her a winner in my book. After this show she plans on competing in a triathlon putting competition plans on hold. If she decides to compete again I only see more first place finishes in her future for this awesome and extremely beautiful woman.
Denver Isom who took second place in Welterweight and novice Middleweight is another person who is a fighter in my book. Here is another competitor who is carrying a full plate and still finds time in his hectic schedule to compete. He was inspired to get into competitions for the challenge of the sport and lifestyle and constantly improving your body with each show. This is a man that has followed through on that since I first saw him on stage he has made some tremendous improvements in less than a year. He picked this show because it was a national qualifier and he plans on taking some time to relax before competing on the national level. Again like with the other winners I see a very promising future for this competitor who is always improving his physique.
The theme of inspiration seemed to be in the air at the show and it was catching even some audience members commenting that they should make that commitment to training and compete in a show. Even the show’s sponsor Mike Vruggink carried on that theme honoring a very special and inspiring individual Anna Zaske with an award for most inspiring person from all her words of hope and motivating messages that she constantly is posting on Facebook. When Toney Freeman took the stage for his routine he about brought down the house with his energy. He reminded people why he is 7x IFBB Pro Champion. He is larger than life on stage but a very humble and wise man to when you meet in person.
Switching gears to Men’s Physique saw Dustin Homan of Team Butler take Overall with a flawless physique and a great stage presence. He wasn’t the only member of Team Butler to take home a trophy that night wins went to Christina Butler taking 2nd in Figure Short, Zach Butler taking 4th in Men’s Heavyweight, Aaron Shea taking 3rd in very heavy Middleweight class, Jacklyn Bernard placing in the top five in Figure just to name a few of their members. This team also took home awards 1st place for best team award, 1st place for best trainer award and 1st place gym where they train award. This is one great training team that is on the rise here in Grand Rapids, I predict a bunch of future pros coming from this team, and they are going to be unstoppable.
There was one big display of poor behavior on stage that night and it took place in Men’s Physique. When they were handing out trophies for top five, the little boy who got a fifth place said aloud enough for the judges to hear and some of the people in the audience to hear, “fuck this” as he was handed a trophy. Excuse me jerk-off you made top five I am sure the others that you beat out for that qualification would be thrilled to be standing in your place at the moment. What an ungrateful individual. Like the judges are going to send that kind of behavior to represent Michigan to a national level contest to compete?
Apparently the judges saw something better in the others then they did in your physique, how about instead of cussing on stage and looking like a baby take your frustrations to the gym and build a better physique that will get you that first place that you think you deserve so badly? But I don’t think that you will receive that first place finish at all because judges do not forget that kind of display of poor sportsmanship that is displayed so blatantly like that.
Other than that display of childish behavior the competitors shined with rewarding each other with congratulations, one that stood out to me was when the 2nd place finisher in Men’s heavyweight novice shook the 1st place winners hand and patted him on the back for winning the big trophy. That is behavior that judges see and remember in the future…
To conclude it was a great show to attend. There was something for everyone there and the excitement never lagged in the auditorium. I am looking forward to actually competing there come October.
You can see the full results of the contest here.
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