2009 IFBB New York Pro Wrapup!
by John Romano
Another IFBB New York Pro show is in the bag and, as is always customary in New York City, it was a freak show to remember. However, as far as freak shows go, this was not the end-all to end-all. Prior to the show, on paper, it appeared as though the line-up would be dense, difficult to judge, and pretty incredible to watch. All three appeared to be true. In fact, I can tell you it was pretty incredible to watch, especially since our good friend Evan Centopani won the show. In doing so, this great young hopeful cemented his bright future career by starting off with a win. At the ripe young age of 27, Even has accomplished a feat so rare it has only happened one other time in this century. Other than Phil Heath busting into the pros with a win his first time out, you’d have to look to last century to find another similar occurrence. Evan’s a pretty impressive specimen. He’s a good looking kid with great symmetry, freaky arms, spot on condition and pretty much no missing pieces. I will say that he did look just a tad too dehydrated. He was missing a bit of depth to his upper/middle back that made him look a little too two dimensional. And his presentation needs work. But I’m picking nits. Evan looked every inch the bust-out pro and he deserves major props for doing it right the first time out.
In second place, Dennis James brought an even more improved version of himself. DJ seems to hone his physique every time he gets on stage with further improvements to an already dangerous body. If he hangs in there long enough, he’s eventually going to nail it and victory will be his.
Fresh out of retirement Marcus Ruhl brought the house down with thunderous chants of “Ruhl, Ruhl, Ruhl….” His third place finish sat better with him than it did with the crowd. New York just loves a freak and I’m sure they would have loved Marcus to win. He did bring one of his best showings since he won the show in 2002. He was freaky huge– the biggest in the show at 278 pounds– and dwarfed everyone. It was good to see Marcus back on stage. When asked if we’d ever see him compete again Marcus was noncommittal. We sure hope he does keep going because Marcus is a freak and we all love freaks.
Silvio Samuel took a disappointing fourth to a loud chorus of boos. Despite the crowd’s opinion, Silvio looked off. He was missing his signature shreddedness that another two weeks of dieting would have solved. I’m sure we’ll see Silvio win at least a couple of more shows this year. Tonight, however, he was off and had to settle for what he got.
Hidetada Yamagishi rounded out the top five with a very impressive physique that could easily have placed one or two places higher. This guy keeps improving every time out and I’m Cathysure before long he’s going to be one of those guys we always see in the top row.
The very tough 202 class was won for the second year in a row by the insanely phenomenal Kevin English. Kevin looks like he weighs 250 and about six month ago he actually did! How he got down to 202 and where that 48 pounds went we’ll never know. What we do know is that this guy is a freak– just unreal. He’s got huge arms, a tiny waist, and ridiculous legs… nothing’s missing. English easily handled Mark Dugdale (2nd) and David Henry (3rd) tonight. The next step is to claim the title of best 202lb bodybuilder at the 202 Olympia Showdown.
The woman’s bodybuilding was handily won by Cathy LeFrancois for the second year in a row. She was amazing this year– totally polished with a beautiful posing routine, great hair and a sparkly suit. Physique wise I don’t think there was anything better she could have done. Her condition was spot-on and she had striations all over the place. Cathy defeated veteran Betty Pariso (2nd) and Rosemary Jennings (3rd) with unanimous first place votes.