The inside scope of the 2008 GK Classic Bodybuilding & Fitness/Figure Championships
August 9, 2008 NPA’s Pro female 2007 runner –up champion Gloria Knight – McNeil promoted her first annual GK classic Bodybuilding, fitness/figure Championships. “The show was hot, “as the rappers and young people say. Gloria had a ton of vendors, supporters, families and friends from the adjacent area support the event. There were only seventeen (17) athletes and some crossovers that made the show appear to be much larger than it was. Also with guest poser Thurman Campbell and the ladies in black (Justice Starr, Dawn Howell, Beki Howell, Betsy Collie, Melanie Silino, Veronica Paylor, Kendyll Starr and Allie Starr) made all the difference. The audience participation was above average and this was a good show. There were about 400+ spectators to include several IFBB and NPC stars in the audience. Many were recognized and acknowledged, thanks to Gloria. The show was a (two session)/ (Prejudging & Finals) and started off with the teenage division which included 19 year old Joshua Swygart, Cary North Carolina and 14 year old Jaleen Washington, Fayetteville, North Carolina. Washington at only 14 gave a great first effort. However, Swygart is one of those kind of guys who apparently was discovered in the basement by some bodybuilding judge. He left little doubt to the younger Washington who was going home with the title. .
Next, the Novice lightweights (under 175) five athletes represented the class. In 5th place Joseph Bumbrey of Winston – Salem, North Carolina was declared, Tim Rose of Rocky Mount, North Carolina earned 4th place, Lee Gunn form Timberlake, North Carolina captured 3rd, Elliot Grout, Creedmoor, North Carolina grabbed 2nd place and the winner once again was Joshua Swygart. In the Novice heavyweights (175+) there was only one and that was Durham’s Robert Hall. When the conditioned Swygart went at the bigger Hall for the overall title, Swygart’s conditioning clearly earned him the title.
The beauties (figure athletes) were next. There were only three but did they do a spectacular job. All of them represented the short under 5’5’’ (short) class. In third place the trophy went to Lana Soltan, Rocky Mount, North Carolina and in 2nd place Betsy Collie, Durham, North Carolina worked it and passed the torch unto 1st place champ Melanie Silino, Cary, North Carolina. Silino has the potential to being a champion bodybuilder.
It was back to the men where the Masters (40-49) group, Robert Hall earned 3rd place, he also competed earlier in the Novice heavyweight division. Once Robert comes down a little more in bodyweight he’ll become a force. His conditioning is off a little but he has the package. Lee Gunn came in much better in this show than he previously did in our state show. Lee is from Timberlake North Carolina and has a lot of potential as well. Gerald Allen, Durham North Carolina is no stranger to the NPA. Last year he had an entourage of titles and has serious potential in becoming a NPA Professional bodybuilder. He needs continuous work on his calves and legs. He easily won the division. In the men masters (35-39) division there were two. Second place went to Rocky Mount North Carolina Tim Rose and the winner of the class was Nigel Edgerton of Durham North Carolina. When Allen and Edgerton met in the finals Allen scored perfect scores to win the overall masters title over the younger Edgerton.
There were only two female bodybuilders and they were phenomenal. They both represented the masters women class. Attorney Evelyn Davis-Russell, Durham, North Carolina opened up the 40+ division and won it uncontested. Evelyn is an athlete that will pose a lot of problems for some of the less conditioned athletes. She’s polished and knows the basics and is what I call a spoiler. She’s been around long enough to know what it takes. She bought it to the GK Classic. In the younger masters division (35-39) Veronica Paylor, Roxboro, North Carolina who’s on a winning streak won the division uncontested as well. When the two met in the show down Evelyn experience showed as she earned the decision unanimously.
In the women open, pretty much the same fate. The same two women represented the women division. Evelyn earned the middleweight title and Veronica earned the heavyweight title. When the two met pretty much the same fate. Evelyn won the women Overall title and best female poser of the contest award in which she very much deserved.
In the open men lightweight division there were five athletes who made things happen. In 5th place contestant Lee Gunn claimed placement. In 4th place, Elliot Grout of Creedmoor, North Carolina, Nigel Edgerton claimed 3rd place, 2nd place went to Chanse Betts, Roxboro North Carolina and the winner was Joshua Swygart. In the middleweight class there were four athletes. Fourth place went to Joseph Bumbrey. Joe’s got to get in better condition. To his credit he did look better this year than last. Third place went Tim Rose, 2nd place was claimed by David Russell of Norcross Georgia, and your winner of the class was Ty Rufus of Durham, North Carolina. Once this young man works on a few minor weaknesses he will be a force for all to beware of. In the men’s light heavyweight there was only one. He was Robert Hall. Again Hall has a lot of muscles but until he understands diet and conditioning he won’t be a spoiler. In the men’s heavyweight there was only one and his name was Gerald Allen. Allen was on by the time the finals and end came. He won the title and Nigel Edgerton would win best poser. Like to thank head judge Narva Daniels, Stephan Kitchen, Randy Batts, Sherrie Broome’, and Rodney Barnes for their hard work as officials and recognized test officials Tami Prager, Debbie Frazee, Doug Frazee and Christine Perry. JW Hicks did a fine job as well on the music. Once again the NPA thanks Gloria Knight-McNeil for the fine effort and job she did. Photos can be reviewed under www.robertthomasphotography.com ./ Harry E. Silas