2019 USN Classic
Photos courtesy of Sam Solarfly, Matt Marsh Photography
The 2019 season got underway in style on May 26th as 108 Novice athletes took to the stage in front of yet another packed audience in the annual USN Classic at Rugby.
The show was opened with a crowd rousing guest spot from 3 time WNBF Pro World Heavyweight Champion Rich Gozdecki who gave a mind blowing presentation of the massive physique that has seen him gain the reputation of one of the greatest natural bodybuilders ever to come out of the UK, and indeed the World!
The results of the contest were as follows:
1 – George O’Farrell (Cambridge)
Well built for a teenage competitor with nice balance and a good shape, presented well. If George tightens up just a little for the finals he will be well in the mix.
1 – Darrian Shepard (Northampton)
2 – Matthew Doyle (Huddersfield)
3 – Connor Crompton (Byfleet)
4 – Joe Sewell (Welwyn Garden City)
5 – Jack Thomas (New Moston)
Also competed: Jack Cargill, Jack Thomas, Christopher Edmonds, Ionut Lautaru, Ellis Mason & Lynus Woo.
A very tough class to judge with the four front runners in particular very closely matched but with very different physiques, which made this somewhat of an apples vs oranges type of contest. In the end, the incredible shape and structure of Darrian won the day over the hard condition of Matthew and the well balanced physiques of Connor and Joe who could have made things very different today if they had come in harder. Joe in particular has the potential to cause a real turnaround later in the season if he nails his condition and shows of his massively muscled physique to its best. Jack pinched fifth in a tough battle with Lynus who too would have placed far higher has he been harder, with Jack needing more size to push the higher placings today.
The rest of the class all looked great, but generally needed more size and condition to break into the placings.
1 – Jonny Mack (Leeds)
A great physique with plenty of muscle, nice shape and good balance. Just a little more condition needed for the finals.
1 – Andrew Vaughan (Llandudno)
2 – Lawrence Bevan (Haresfield)
3 – Neil Hanley (Milton Keynes)
4 – Matthew Brookes (Newcastle Under Lyme)
A solid win for Andrew with muscle in abundance and hard conditioning which was matched by runner up Lawrence but without the sheer size needed to topple the winner today. Bothe Neil and Matthew had well balanced and developed physiques but needed to be harder on this occasion.
Ladies Masters Figure
1 – Lilia Ciofu (Ware)
2 – Louise Craner (Coventry)
3 – Tracey Woodhead (Coventry)
4 – Wendy Greenwood (Coventry)
5 – Bryony Goodliffe (Cambridge)
Lilia took the class convincingly with her tall, wide shouldered frame giving her the ideal shape for figure. As she gains a little more muscle she will be hard to beat at any level. Louise was a clear runner up with great development and condition, just lacking the width and taper to get past the winner in this class. Tracy and Wendy were both in great shape and had a hard battle for third, with Tracy edging ahead with a slightly fuller and more muscular figure. Briony was hugely improved over last years appearance and if she continues to make progress with her conditioning at this rate will be challenging the placings before she knows it.
1 – Lesley Duncan (Whitburn)
2 – Sarah Long (Wellingborough)
3 – Natalie Briggs (Marlow)
4 – Wendy Hoynes (Tamworth)
5 – Danielle McIntyre (Glasgow)
Another tough class, with a close battle for first and second between eventual winner Lesley who had the ideal level of muscle and condition for figure but who lacked a little shoulder and back width which would have given her the ideal shape and Sarah who had the perfect structure and shape with good balance but was a little short of the condition she needed. Natalie in third looked great but a little too muscular overall and more suited to Fit Body at a glance. Wendy and Danielle took 4th and 5th and both looked superb. When Wendy adds some more muscle and Danielle hits her conditioning both ladies will jump up the placings.
Ladies Fit Body
1 – Natalie Briggs (Marlow)
2 – Lesley Duncan (Whitburn)
3 – Sarah Long (Wellingborough)
4 – Tracy Woodhead (Coventry)
5 – Bryony Goodliffe (Cambridge)
Natalie took a clear win in the Fit Body division, proving her more suitable for this discipline as predicted earlier. Muscular and hard, but not excessively and with a superb shape she will be one to watch at the finals if she learns to pose her back shots a little better and bring out her lat taper. Lesley and Sarah repeated their battle from figure but were more clearly split this time round due to Lesleys muscularity which made her just as good a fit for this criteria than figure, whereas Sarah is clearly better suited to figure at this point. Tracy and Briony in 4th and 5th both looked good and posed well, but both need more muscularity for Fit Body at this point in their careers.
1 – Scott Hughes (Shropham)
2 – Blair Johnson (Linlithgow)
3 – Z Joseph Harmos (Leeds)
4 – Eddie Adby (Manchester)
5 – Jon Adby (Manchester)
Also competed: Adam Clarke, Thomas Kane, Gareth Henton, Greg Miller Burns, Nick Lee and Jarek Zybowski.
An incredible quality class, with Scott the runaway winner with size, shape and condition to spare and incredible posing to show it off. Close battles for both 2nd and 3rd and 4th and 5th respectively took place as Blair edged runner up spot with a little more mass and thickness than Joseph with both men in incredible condition and Eddie pipping twin brother Jon to the post with almost identical physiques but Eddie being a shade harder. Jarek was close to the placings, with a hard upper body but needing a little more legs and a harder tan with Adam looking huge but needing more condition. The rest of the class were in good shape but generally needed to be bigger to push the placings today.
1 – Loic Perusset (Sheffield) *** Overall Winner ***
2 – Hymsuen Liu (London)
3 – Edward Tan (London)
4 – Matthew James (Hammersmith)
5 – Ben Wilmshurst (Bristol)
Also competed: Dean Willison, Sam Ward, Stephen Skidmore, Diaa Abed Alaziz, Rob Harrison and Matthew James.
Another belter of a class, with a much improved Loic storming to victory with a well balanced and rock hard physique which couldn’t be touched today as he went on to take the overall a short time later in a tough battle with Lightweight winner Scott. Hymsuen took second over Edward with a heavily muscled and thick physique which could have upset the winner if he were harder. Edward on the other hand hit his condition nicely and just needs a little more size overall. Matthew and Ben in 4th and 5th were both well built with a nice shape but needed to be a touch harder whereas Sam who just missed out on the placings appeared to be in hard condition with s decent shape but could hardly be judged due to being devoid of any sort of tan making him look pale and washed out onstage which was a huge shame as he may have jumped a number of places if his muscularity could be seen. Dean, Stephen, Diaa and Rob all looked great and look to have decent potential if they keep progressing in terms of size and condition.
1 – Sam Harvey (London)
2 – Marius Blazaitis (Nowrich)
3 – Kamron Williams (London)
A great bodybuilding debut from former Mens Physique athlete Sam who is far better suited to this discipline with his rugged, muscular upper body and hard condition. He was just too big and too hard today for the other men in the class and should feature strongly at the finals. Marius took 2nd with incredible condition and a nice shape, just needing more size to push the winner today and Kamron in third by contrast had all the muscle and aesthetic appeal he needed but required more condition wise to push the winner. When he finds the required conditioning he will be very hard to match at this level.
Ladies Bikini, Short
1 – Ruth Solly (Epsom) *** Overall Winner ***
2 – Krisztina Sagi (Leeds)
3 – Tunde Torok (Leeds)
4 – Lucy-Jo Tostevin (Tunbridge Wells)
5 – Charlotte Ford (Coventry)
Also competed: Cher Beard, Ma Li, Emma Campbell, Brittany Hodges and Danielle Middlemas.
A great standard across the whole top five in this class but a clear win for Ruth who later went on to take the overall title with a lean and athletic figure which was presented perfectly. Krisztina and Tunde were both also in superb shape and well presented and deserving of their placings and finals invitations where they will feature strongly if they can present a little more fullness in the upper bodies. Lucy-Jo and Charlotte were very closely matched, and both in great shape and either could have cracked the top 3 without any complaints.
The competitors outside the top 5 generally required a little more development and muscularity to challenge harder today but all looked superb.
Ladies Bikini, Tall
1 – Chloe Jackson (Coalville)
2 – Lilia Ciofu (Ware)
3 – Samantha King (Northwich)
4 – Chloe Busby (Witney)
5 – Zara Jacques (Stamford)
Also competed: Iveta Vidina, Louise Craner, Leanne Lockwood, Rosie Tostevin and Adrienne Tarin-Yatco.
Chloe took a clear win in this class, with a superb shape and great presentation and just narrowly missing out on the overall against the short class winner as she needed to be a touch tighter in that particular match up. Masters figure winner Lilia took runner up spot today but would be more suited to Figure at the finals if she contests them. Samantha, Chloe and Zara rounded out the top 5 all in great condition but needing more muscle development in general which was the common theme throughout those who didn’t place today with the exception of Louise, who was better suited to her earlier masters figure class.
Mens Physique, Short
1 – Ismael Rivas (Brighton)
2 – Ridwan Dabeedin (Manchester)
3 – Oliver Combridge (Watford)
4 – Jamie Evans (Stafford)
5 – Michael Ashley (Hayes)
Also competed: Anil Patel, Lyntonlee Maitland, Patrik Vasko, Victor Marquez Carmona, Jack Jackson, Yusuf Paterson-Mosafeer, Tom Woolfenden, Ian Ho and Darryl Polley.
Another decisive winner came in the shape of Ismael, who was just too good to be beaten in this class today with a superb shape and ideal level of development in tight condition. The next 3 placings were tight, with Ridwan pressing ahead for runner up spot with a beautiful shape to his upper body closely followed by Oliver and Jamie who could have pushed the winner hard if they were a little sharper. Michael took a well deserved 5th with adequate muscle size and good condition, although he still holds himself “narrow” on his back shots which hurts him in comparisons against others who display a wider taper (which is a huge factor in this discipline). I’d be very interested to see Michael compete as a bodybuilder assuming he has the legs to match his upper half, but feel he could do well in either class if he works on either building or displaying more back width. The gents outside the top 5 were again all in decent shape with some needing more muscle size in general and others needing to work on creating the optimal shape for this discipline.
Mens Physique, Medium
1 – Jack Woodley (Watford) *** Overall Winner ***
2 – Rajiv Kumar (Coventry)
3 – James Clark (Essex)
4 – Ashley Hodge (Manchester)
5 – Matthew Tse (Crewe)
Also competed: Joshua Souber, Simon Wallace, Leonold Wilkerson, Peter Zeneli, Kryzsztof Stepien, Aaron Dare, Adrian Baczkowski and Junior Walker.
Possibly the toughest of the three classes overall, with the winner nothing short of an advert for the ideal Mens Physique competitor in my opinion with a beautiful structure and shape. A little more muscle and condition wouldn’t hurt eventually, but with Physique being a very “shape heavy” discipline Jack will always catch the eye in any class in which he stands. It was little surprise that he went on to take the overall later in the day, despite a strong challenge from Ismael in particular. Rajiv, James and Ashley took the next three places with adequate development and condition but just not the natural structure of the winner. Matthew rounded out the top 5 in great shape but needed more mass for his height.
Outside the top 5 it was once again a general theme of the guys just needing a little more shape and condition in general, with the exception of Leonold who boasted a huge, thickly muscled and really nicely shaped physique that desperately needs to be thrown into a pair of posing trunks and into a bodybuilding lineup where he will do very well in the required condition.
Mens Physique, Tall
1 – Nathan James (Hereford)
2 – Lloyd Hitchins (Newton Abbott)
3 – Jake Dear (Chelmsford)
4 – Michael Iddenden (Hitchin)
5 – Jack Tarran Bennett (Lincoln)
Also competed: Joseph Higgs, Gezim Mema, Chris Walsh, Elis Smits, Jason Conway, Daniel Rawlinson, Daniel Page, Ashley Hirst, Victor Mutasa Kyefulumya and Nathan Kennedy.
The final class of the day boasted yet another clear winner in the shape of Nathan who was well developed and hard with a nice shape. Very close to the limit of muscularity generally accepted in the criteria for this class, no physical changes are required at all for the finals from Nathan at all and in future I would predict a strong future in bodybuilding if he gains any more size. Lloyd and Jake in 2nd and 3rd were both lean and with nice shapes but needed more size to push the winner, whereas Michael and Jack in 4th and 5th had the muscle, but needed more condition. Outside the top 5, as expected especially with the tall men pretty much all just need more time and training to develop more muscle.
And moments later, with the aforementioned overall title going to Jack Woodley the contest drew to a close. Thank you to all who made this years season opener such a success, not just onstage but also in the form of the massive crowd who made the atmosphere so electric and helped raise £1000 for charity through their ticket sales to boot!
We look forward to seeing you all again soon.