Over 800 competitors will take the stage this weekend at the 2012 NPC USA Bodybuilding, Bikini, Figure and Physique Championships. This will be the biggest turnout in the show’s 30-year history. The action starts at high noon on Friday, July 27th at UNLV’s Artemis Hall in Las Vegas, NV.
A record number of pro cards (53) for this event will be awarded on Saturday night. Prejudging for Friday will start with Men’s Bodybuilding followed by Women’s Bodybuilding, Women’s Physique and ending on Bikini. Saturday’s prejudging will showcase Men’s Physique and Figure at 9am. The finals begin 5:30pm for all events.
Last year Wendy Fortino took home top honors in the Figure division and Talia Terese was the leading lady in the bikini division. This will be the second year that the NPC USAs features Women’s Physique. Last year’s overall winners have yet to make an impact in the pro ranks however other pro card winners have made their mark. Brittany Tacy, winner of the C class last year, won her first bikini pro show at the Greater Gulf States earlier this year and will head to the Olympia in September. Jami DeBenard will also be competing in the Olympia this year in the Figure division. She was last year’s D class winner.
Who will be the ones to watch this year? There are a number of women who could turn pro. I like Kalani Barber’s look and chances at a win in Figure. She was second to Tamara Montoya last year and one to watch this year. Another Figure competitor who has a winning look is Phannary Pen from Modesto, California. Dawn Hinz has consistently been in the top spots in the Figure F class and another who should make her mark this weekend. The Colorado State Figure Champion, Stephanie Spencer has a chance to leave a pro if she comes in just a bit tighter than her overall win earlier this month in Denver, Colorado. California State Champ, Francine Sablan has a nice look and should also be in the mix. Dani Freitas Ronquilio has been close a number of times to a pro card but comes up just short. Look for her to be a contender for a pro card.
In the Bikini division it is up in the air as so many of these women have won a show and done very well on the regional level. Who will step up to the plate at this Pro Qualifier? Look for Noy Alexander to take home gold in her backyard. The current Vegas resident has come close a number of times and many felt could have won her class at the JR. Nationals with no one complaining about it. Ashley Cronley LeBlanc has been on the way up and coming off an overall win at the Greater Gulf States. She has a good look and the potential to win not only her class but the overall here. Amy Allen and Shannon Martinez are two who could take home pro cards. They’ve held their own on the national stage before and will have a solid chance at leaving pros. Former NFL cheerleader, Lisa Perry could be in the hunt if she brings better conditioning then she displayed at the Jr. Nationals. The 2012 Emerald Cup overall Bikini winner Paola Terry will look to move back into the winner’s circle and could do so here. She showed potential at the Team Universe event earlier this month.
Keep an eye on Laura Gutilla and Jill Rudison to make some noise in the Women’s Physique division. If Antonia Perdikakis can dial in her legs a bit tighter she could be in the hunt for the top spots in her class. LaDawn McDay and Alyssa Stroud could battle it out in the heavyweight division of female bodybuilding with the winner likely leaving the overall champ. If Christine Sabo comes in a bit tighter than her last outing she too could leave with IFBB Pro Status.
IFBB WOMEN PRO STATUS AWARDED:
Top 2 Placers in the Overall of Women’s Bodybuilding (4 Weight Classes)
Open Figure the Top 2 in each Height Class (6 Height Classes)
Open Bikini the Top 2 in each Height Class (6 Height Classes)
Women’s Physique the Top 2 in each Height Class (4 Height Classes)
If you’re following the action on twitter use #NPCUSAs as the hashtag. MusclePhone, GetbigNews, RonAvidan and NPCNEWSonline will be your best sources for twitter coverage throughout the weekend. Official NPC USA stage photos available at: photos.liftstudios.com.