2017 USN Classic
Images courtesy of Sam Solarfly / Matt Marsh Photography
The 2017 season kicked off on Saturday 10th June with a record breaking entry and sold out crowd at the USN Classic. A contest open to Novice competitors only, the standard of athlete was incredible with a number receiving invitations to the UK Championships and many more capable of making an impact at that level. The results were as follows:
Novice Teen Men
1 – Billy Hinchcliffe (Sheffield). The most complete package in the class, with good conditioning and balance, presented well with a great tan and posing. A little stronger from the front that the back, Billy needs to focus on this balance as he grows but will be one to watch at the finals regardless.
2 – Chris Hyams (Gloucester). Bigger and thicker overall than the winner, but some way off his conditioning was runner up Chris. An impressive physique that will do damage when he gets tighter.
3 – Gjergji Dane (Solihull). Hard and muscular, and possibly the most impressive in the class when viewed from the side was Gjergji. Front and back, his relative lack of natural shoulder width and resulting taper was what stood between him and the two who placed higher today, and should be his focus for future contests.
4 – Henry Warnes (Rugby). Pushing the top 3 hard with a lean and muscular physique with great chest and quad development, Henry looked relatively unprepared for the contest with a very pale tan and wide waisted trunks which did not flatter his physique. These two things alone when adjusted could see Henry pushing the winner if todays contest was re-run. He has great potential for the future and should take todays result as the learning experience he needs.
5 – Mason Richards (Kettering). Structurally the best physique in the class, with a wide back and big arms, Mason was another man who screamed untapped potential as he presented himself impeccably. Condition is the key for Mason, and the sky could be the limit when he finds it.
6 – Ciaron Beasley (Rugby). A well-shaped, lean and athletic physique who too needs a tan and some more flattering trunks to cap off his overall appearance. More size required to place higher today, but it will come and when it does will see Ciaron climb the placings.
Novice Junior Men
1 – Kieran Howells (Rugby). The most dominant class winner of the day, huge and in incredible condition with leg development more usually seen on pro level athletes, Kieran was incredible and took this class at a canter. A little more fullness is needed in the upper body to balance him out, but it will take someone special to stop this young man from wreaking havoc in the junior division this season.
2 – Scott Hughes (Norwich). Scott was more than good enough to have won any junior class on any other day, and was desperately unlucky to come up against the tour de force of Kieran on this day. Well balanced with great presentation which came close to bagging him the Best Poser trophy for the contest, Scott could have benefitted from being a fraction harder overall and will enjoy great success in the future with that extra few percent in conditioning.
3 – Johnathan Bell (Coventry). Literally missing out on the teenage class by a week, Jonny more than held his own against the older guys in this class with shredded conditioning and ample overall size. A little focus on his torso is now needed, as his arms and legs overpowered it notably but regardless he was good enough to fend off a strong challenge from 4th placed Joe and nick the final trophy spot today.
4 – Joe Charlton (London). Just missing out on the top 3, Joe boasted a well-muscled and full physique with heavily muscled legs, particularly when viewed from the side. His condition was his developmental point today, and if it had been as tight as required Joe would almost certainly have jumped a place or two.
5 – Thomas Tierney (Coventry). Another well balance physique with a nice overall balance. Thomas needed to be harder today, but that aside looked great for a first timer. Also competed - Gary Jones (Mitcheldean) and George Austeberry (Coventry). Both men needed more size to crack the placings today, with Gary having a very well balanced physique in good condition and George needing time and patience to fill out his taller frame.
Novice Masters Men
1 – Damian Holmes (Fleetwood). An excellent winner in a close contest with the runner up today. Damian was in rock hard condition which swung the decision in his favour, but boasted a great physique too with a superb side chest pose. Damian just needs to keep doing what he’s doing and will be well in the mix at the finals.
2 – Jason Tate (Newmarket). Bigger and thicker than the winner with a beefy chest and massive legs, Jason was not quite as hard as Damian and did not quite have the aesthetic appeal that the winner boasted. That being said though, there’d have been no complaints had the judges seen it the other way.
3 – Phil King (Birmingham). In an almost impossible to split battle for the 3rd place spot, Phil just edged out big brother Gary by virtue of being slightly tighter and more conditioned. Again, no complaints would have been had if this decision had gone the other way.
4 – Gary King (Birmingham). Slightly fuller than his younger brother, with a little more shape across his chest and shoulders and a tad more confidence in his presentation, Gary was slightly softer but as he tightens up will be one to watch for sure.
1 – David Doig (Buxton). A solid winner of the class by virtue of the extra muscle he carried over his opponent, David boasted thick pecs, arms and legs all shown off in great condition. Bringing the house down with his spirited and up beat posing routine to boot, David will be every bit at home onstage at the big one in October.
2 – Adrian Plester (Birmingham). Although he couldn’t match the winner for sheer muscle today, Adrian was much improved over his last contest with sharper overall condition which showed his well-balanced physique off perfectly.
Novice Masters Ladies Figure
1 – Zoe Martin (Northampton). A strong winner, with a perfectly conditioned overall package displayed competently. Zoe was tall, wide shouldered and well developed and too will be one to watch at the finals.
2 – Jayne Anderson (Northwich). Her best yet, with lean conditioning and great shoulders and arms. Jayne is improving consistently and it won’t be long before she finds her way into the winners spot.
3 – Karen Homer (Birmingham). Another well balanced lady, with no discernible weak body parts and well executed presentation. Karen needed to be a touch sharper to challenge the ladies who placed ahead of her today but is another athlete with great potential for future success.
Novice Ladies Figure
1 – Louise Hamer (Bury). Taking a conclusive win in this class today was Louise. With a perfect frame for the figure class, boasting wide shoulders and a tiny waist, Louise was perhaps just a touch too hard and would have improved her overall impact if she’d been a tad heavier and fuller. Nonetheless, an impressive athlete who thoroughly deserved her place at the finals.
2 – Tracy Dell (Rugby). In stark contrast to the winner, Tracy presented a fuller, softer figure which could have made the contest impossible to split had she been a touch harder today. Tracy has great shoulders, with a very well developed back and it isn’t hard to imagine her transitioning over to Bodybuilding in time as she progresses.
3 – Olivia Walker (Sheffield). Just snatching 3rd place in a very tight contest with 4th placed Katie, Olivia was in great condition and presented herself very well. A little more developed in the lower body than upper, Olivia will go on to become a real threat in this class once the balance is redressed a little.
4 – Katie Cornish (Great Yarmouth). With the margin between the athletes in this class from 2nd to 4th pretty close, Katie was perhaps unlucky to fall this side of the final call and had a very striking overall figure which she too presented well. A little harder in the lower body, and the placings could easily have been reversed today. Look out for Katie to turn things around as the season continues and enjoy further success.
Novice Ladies Bodybuilding
1 – Teresa Slezova (London). An incredible contest debut for Teresa, who shone like a diamond the whole time she was onstage. Well developed and muscular, with deep abs and legs hard and separated to the level rarely seen on a novice competitor, it was a real shame she was without competition today. Teresa’s presentation was polished with a well-structured routine and she will upset many a more experienced opponent when she faces them later in the year. Teresa was one of the true “finds” of the day, and has an incredible future in the sport if she chooses to pursue it.
Novice Men Lightweight
1 – Andrew O’Connor (North Camp). A deserved winner in the class with outstanding condition and great shoulders and quads, Andrew will fare well at the finals where he needs to focus on his presentation a little, which was understandably a little raw with it being his first contest.
2 – Gareth Williams (Stamford). Gave as good as he got in the comparisons, with a full and nicely balanced physique. His condition was not quite at the level of the winners today, and if it had been then arguably he could have taken the class from Andrew.
3 – Edward Williams (Northwich). His best yet, with his torso filling out to match his well-muscled arms and legs. A fraction away from peak condition, Eddy will be well equipped to bag that finals invitation once he hardens up that last few percent.
4 – Gurpaige Raj Singh (Nottingham). A beautifully structured physique with wide shoulders and a tiny waist giving him an impressive outline as he stood relaxed and in his front and rear compulsories. More size in the lower body and a little more hardness are now what Gurpaige needs to focus on to climb the placings.
5 – Damiano Mita (Aylesbury). Balanced and lean, Damiano needed to be both bigger and harder to crack the placings today but is on the right track and has great potential for the future.
6 – Tristan Watkins (Gloucester). Heavily muscled with a decent structure, Tristan could easily have been pushing the trophy placings today with the required conditioning. Once he works out how to crack the level of hardness and detail required, he will be one to watch for sure.
Novice Men Middleweight
1 – Daniel Callaway (Northampton). Edging a very close decision over the runner up after just squeezing into the middleweight class at the mornings weigh in, Daniel boasted a great balance top to bottom which would be the factor in clinching the victory today. Superb quads and abdominals in particular with a pleasing overall shape, Daniel just needed a touch more condition and possibly a slightly darker tan to have bagged him the overall today and should focus on those points for the final.
2 – Daniel Olusina (Rainham). Rock hard, with without doubt the best legs on the whole contest with huge sweeping quads, prominent hamstrings and rock hard glutes, Daniel although lighter from the waist up was no slouch here either with a narrow waist, wide shoulders and detail in the midsection to be envied. A little more fullness in the upper body and he could well reverse the decision at the finals should he choose.
3 – David Williams (Carmarthen). Thickly muscled with a deep back and thick pecs and legs, David just lacked a little in terms of aesthetic appeal and conditioning compared to the first two although was more than good enough to have taken a win in another line up.
4 – Jay Whitfield (Kingston). Just missing third, Jay was harder than David and a little more pleasing to the eye but lacked the raw muscle size which saw the final trophy slot decided. Another day in another line up however this is another man who was more than good enough to win a novice class and as he gains size will be one to keep an eye out for.
5 – Damian Holmes (Fleetwood). His hard condition and muscle maturity earning him a top 5 slot, Damian looked great but would need more aesthetic appeal to propel him further up the placings today.
Also competed - Scott Tyler (Market Harborough) who landed in 6th place, and had the potential to win this class with a little more conditioning to show off his well-balanced and heavily muscled physique, Junior runner up Scott Hughes who needed to be harder to make more of an impact in this line up, Greg Sinclair (Bracknell) who was very unlucky to have found himself in such high quality company today with a lean and well balanced overall physique that would have seen him place much higher in previous contests, Tony Teplizki (Barkingside) and Rob Harrison (Norwich) who took the Best Poser award for the contest both of whom need to be bigger overall to make an impact, Hugh Hartnett (St Albans) and Max Goldberg (Molesey) who were both very impressive but lacked the condition to place higher today and Gareth Anderson (Bridgend) who needs time and training to fill out his tall frame with the muscle required but was in good shape and posed competently.
Novice Men Heavyweight
1 – Yordan Stoyanov (Wembley). Yordan was a beast of an athlete, heavily muscled all over with no real glaring weak points and in great condition. His shape was very pleasing to the eye and he presented himself well. A clear winner in this class, and after a strong battle with Daniel in the Overall claimed his prize of the best Bodybuilder in today’s contest. It will take a very good novice to upset Yordans plans of taking the UK title should he choose to pursue it.
2 – Peter Fishwick (Bury). Well balanced with a great shape and impeccable conditioning, Peter looked superb and was another man who would have cantered to a win on any other day at this level. His tan and posing were all spot on and as he grows and fills out his frame over time will be capable of rising to a very high level in the sport.
3 – Scott Paisley (Coventry). Another incredible physique, with great quads and calves and plenty of muscle on the rest of his well-structured frame, Scott was a little softer than the first two and a little harder could see himself in the winners circle without any problems.
4 – Adam Skendrovic (Coventry). Another well-built and pleasingly structured physique in good shape. Adam just needs to keep doing what he’s doing, as it certainly wasn’t any real issue with his physique that kept him from the trophies today, just an indication of the standard of this incredible class!
5 – Krzystof Sienkiewicz (Margate). A big guy, with loads of muscle on all body parts and a real powerful looking overall physique. Krzystof needs to focus on conditioning, as once he’s bought himself in hard I predict he’ll be very impressive.
Novice Men, Overall
Novice Ladies Bikini, Short
1 – Georgina Barge (Pwllheli). A standout winner of this class, who went on to take the overall by a unanimous vote. Georgina fitted the criteria for the class perfectly with a lean athletic appearance with an exceptionally well developed posterior chain and confident presentation.
2 – Sophie Armitage (Huddersfield). Ideally conditioned but a step behind the winner in terms of overall development was runner up Sophie, who looked very well prepared for the contest and presented herself perfectly.
3 – Jessica Hemson (Bracknell). Jessica was structurally near perfect, with wide shoulders and an ideal level of muscle development. A touch more conditioning today and she would definitely have challenged for one of the top 2 placings.
4 – Francisca Ostrovski (Wembley). Lean and balanced, just needing more muscle development to have pushed higher today. Francisca too was confidently presented and well prepared and like Jade in 5th place, could have easily taken the third trophy slot with no complaints.
5 – Jade Waterlow (Bury St. Edmunds). Another lady who will vault the placings as she develops more muscular size, as her shape and structure were excellent and she was in great condition for the class.
Also competed – Ffion Wilde (Treorchy) who will benefit from more size and a darker tan and Mandy Johnson (Birmingham) whose natural shape will be showed off to its fullest when she achieves a harder condition.
Novice Ladies Bikini, Tall
1 – Nicole Mann (Aylesbury). A winner of a close fought decision between the top 3, Nicole got the nod by virtue of her near perfect shape and balance with a great taper and perfect presentation. Not quite hard and muscular enough to take the overall from Georgina, this should be her focus for the finals.
2 – Kara Yui (Kingston). A close runner up, Kara did not quite have the aesthetic impact of the winner but boasted athletic muscularity and conditioning perfectly suited to the class. A little work on upper body width long term will benefit Kara.
3 – Zoe Carradice (Edinburgh). Another athlete with perfect shape and balance and excellent presentation, Zoe will be one to watch at the highest level when she increases her overall size and muscularity. A little fuller today and she may have placed a notch or two higher.
4 – Crystal Ajaelu (Welwyn Garden City). Not quite big or hard enough to unsettle the first three today, Crystal did have a lovely symmetrical figure and effortless presentation. Another lady with great potential as she achieves further growth.
5 – Emma Ramsbottom (Norwich). Emma was well proportioned and balanced, but too conditioned for the bikini class which cost her a few places. A slightly softer, fuller overall package would have seen her challenge for the top three without doubt.
Also competed – Tara Holmes (Fleetwood) who was tall and muscular and would have been better suited to the figure division, Keturah Anderssen-Chivers (Bristol) too was muscular with particularly well developed and conditioned legs and calves. A little more upper body mass and a move to figure would suit her too. Megan Dunthorne (Norwich) stepped onstage in great shape after an epic physical transformation. More muscle required to place higher on this occasion but great potential for the future. Anna Kedzierska (Wembley) was another lady who was a little too hard and would have suited a little more fullness. Louise Phillips (Northampton) and Hermione Plumptre (Warwick) were both in great shape and would benefit from a little more upper body development.
Novice Ladies Bikini, Overall
Novice Mens Physique, Short
1 – Nathaniel Goldstein (Newmarket). Another hard fight for the top spot, with Nathaniel taking the title with a fuller physique with a strong taper and rounded pecs. A touch more condition would suit Nathaniel as well as some increased calf development. Nathaniel looked a little tense onstage at times, pinching his shoulders in a little which took away from the flow of his upper body. Relax, and show off that great v-taper even more!
2 – Mark Brown (Coventry). Pushing the winner hard with harder condition and a superior lower body, Mark perhaps gave away a little fullness from the front in search of the hardness he displayed. Also invited to contest the finals, he has plenty of time to address this and could easily turn the tables on the winner if he does.
3 – Adam Snedker (Northampton). Adam had the judges scratching their heads, as he sat right on the border in terms of muscularity and size for the division but with the best shape and structure in the class which at first glance put him in the running for the winners spot. At times though, when he flexed hard it was clear to see that he was absolutely shredded and much deeper muscled than he had displayed when first entering the stage, and too much so for the criteria of the class, with the judges that noted this placing him much further down the pack, hence his eventual third place as he split opinion down the table more than any other athlete in the contest. A move to bodybuilding where he can show his impressive physique off to its fullest would be the wisest move for Adam in future.
4 – Christopher Paling (Loughborough). Another man who was absolutely shredded, possibly more so than anyone else in the contest. Sadly, too much so for the class and preventing him from a higher placing. Chris had a great upper body with deeply etched abdominals and should also consider a switch to bodybuilding if he has the legs to match.
5 – Jasdeep Bhangu (Uxbridge). Ideally shaped for the class, with ample muscle even with the little room for growth that he has, Jas would benefit from being slightly harder and perhaps a touch darker to show the contours of his physique a little more clearly.
Also competed – Teen competitor Gjergji Dane who lacked the aesthetic appeal to make an impact in this class, Ricky Hughes (Shropham) and Cymron Bancil (Acton) who both needed more size in today’s line up. Shaun Latibeaudiere (Basildon) had an incredible physique with full muscle bellies and a great structure but needed to be harder. Gareth Jones (Bridgend), Gareth Henton (Norwich) and Blair Gibson (Glasgow) were all lean and ready but need more muscle and Matthew Hewitt (Alsagers Bank) who was big and balanced with enormous quads and calves and definitely should think about switching to Bodybuilding once he hardens up a little.
Novice Mens Physique, Medium
1 – Bobby Fotheringham (Nuneaton). Bobby was a standout winner of the medium height class, with an absolutely ideal level of development and conditioning which left the judges with very little to think about. His “coup de gras” was his side profile, where he was perfectly proportioned with enough depth to match his front profile, which was a balance not achieved by the vast majority in this discipline. This was also his key to taking the overall today against the other class winners. For the finals, Bobby would be well advised to work on his back as developmentally it was just a touch behind the rest of his physique.
2 – James Watkinson (Bingley). A taller, very well shaped athletic physique which was lean but not excessively hard with a room for a little more condition. James could hold a little more muscle overall and still fit the criteria, but for the meantime is more than good enough to challenge anyone and earn his finals invitation later in the season should he choose to.
3 – Harry Strike (York). A tad lighter built than the first two but in great condition, Harry could also handle a little more muscle and still not exceed the category limits and is another man who would hold his own in most line-ups.
4 – Joe Bags haw (Leeds). A bigger, fuller athlete with a lovely balance and shape, Joe needed to be just a touch harder to break into the top 3 today.
5 – Chris Loughlin (Liverpool). By contrast, Chris was ideally conditioned but not quite heavy enough to push into the higher placings today.
Also competed – Conor Dorrans (Kilmarnock), Robert Walker (Newbury), George Owen (Nottingham) and Jordan Evans (Bridgend) who all needed a little more development to break into the placings in this class today. James Helford (Leamington Spa) was incredibly well structured and just needed to be a little harder as he just missed the top 5 by a whisker. Bric Stampa (Newmarket) was one of the best built men in the entire contest. Huge, full and hard throughout the upper body with calf development suggesting he has the legs to match. He would have almost certainly placed high in any of the Bodybuilding divisions today but was just too much for physique. It’s a travesty when a man as good as Bric goes home from a contest empty handed, but if he returns in a more suitable discipline this will definitely not be the case. Dig out the trunks, Bric. A trophy collection awaits you!
Novice Mens Physique, Tall
1 – Levi Walker (Warminster). Coming out on top in a tough battle for the top 3, Levi has a shape to be envied with wide shoulders tapering down to a narrow waist offset by deep and symmetrical abdominals. A little lighter when viewed from the side, which ultimately swung the balance away from him in the overall, Levi regardless will be a front runner at the finals.
2 – Olivier Kelli (Birmingham). An incredibly tall man, presenting a hard and athletic overall package to the judges which lacked only a little in terms of natural relative shoulder width, Oli looked fantastic and thoroughly deserved his runner up spot.
3 – Scott Reilly (Coatbridge). Structurally and in terms of development the best in the class by a margin, Scott was a little short on condition compared to the first two, which was accentuated by his slightly pale tan. A few tweaks in these departments and he could easily have won the class today as well as the overall and it will be interesting to see him later in the season if he opts to do so.
4 – Matthew Terry (Chelmsford). A tad lighter in muscle than the top three, Matthew has scope for growth while still staying in the parameters of the class. He was in good condition with a nice shape though and was by no means too far adrift from the top 3.
5 – Gleb Steshov (Leconfield). Gleb needed to be a tad leaner today to make the most of his physique and is another man who is capable of turning the tables as the season progresses. Also competed – Tom Tarbox (Slough), Macer Smith (Stamford), Adam Reed (Kettering), Shaun Gouck (Kilmarnock), Chris Davies (Shepherds Bush), Lee McCulloch (Stamford), Lewis McColm (Stirling), Alan Bryan (Gloucester), Sam Bennett (Maidstone) and Austen Hills (Plymouth). A great standard across the board amongst the guys who just missed out on a placing. All were in good condition and well presented and in general all just needed a touch more muscle to challenge the higher spots today.
Novice Mens Physique, Overall
And with that, the first contest of the season was “in the books” as they say. The standard across the classes was exceptional, especially with all of the competitors being at such an early stage of their competitive careers. If today is anything to go by, the future of our sport shines brighter than ever, both for the coming season and beyond.
Sincere thanks to all who supported this event.