2008 HOUSTON PRO FINALS

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Samuel strikes it rich in Texas again

by Allan Donnelly

July 5, 2008

FLEXONLINE.COM

For the second year in a row, Silvio Samuel decided to enter a summer contest in Texas with the hope of earning a win and, along with it, momentum heading into the Olympia. For the second row, Samuel was successful on both fronts by winning the Houston Pro on Saturday at the Stafford Center in Sweetwater, Texas.

"My plan was to look for a win, just like last year," Samuel said. Last year I was looking for a win to make the top six at the Olympia. I finished seventh, which was good enough for a first Olympia. Now I'm hoping to work hard and take one more step and finish in the top six.

"I'm very happy with this, two wins in two years ... one win a year is a dream come true, it shows anything is possible."

Craig Richardson and Leo Ingram posted career-bests by finishing in second and third, respectively. Richardson was much improved from his fifth-place finish at the New York Pro in early May, while Ingram, a second-year pro, brought the best combination of size and condition of his career. Armin Scholz placed fourth, while Bill Wilmore finished fifth. Darrem Charles, billed as one of the precontest favorites, slipped to sixth.

Ray Arde was the class of the men's 202 and under division, winning the second 202 and under show of the year. Tricky Jackson and Jeff Long also qualified for the 202 Showdown during Olympia Weekend by placing second and third, respectively.

In figure, Felicia Romero won her second consecutive contest, beating out rookie Lenay Hernandez. Romero won the California Pro Figure Championships in late May. Hernandez, competing in her first pro contest and third overall, won her pro card at the Junior USAs in April. Heather Mae French finished third, while Jelena Abbou (fourth) and Paola Almerico (fifth).

"I wanted to do this show regardless of what happened at the Cal, I already had it on the agenda," Romero said of her decision to enter the Houston show. "I wasn't expecting to win by any means, I obviously wanted to do well. This gives me more confidence heading into the Olympia."

In fitness, Tracey Greenwood made sure her trip to Texas was a successful one, beating out Shannon Meteraud and Erin Riley for the seventh professional win of her career. Bethany Gainey and Nicole Duncan finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

GO HERE FOR BODYBUILDING, FITNESS AND FIGURE GALLERIES FROM THE HOUSTON PRO!

GO HERE FOR COMMENTARY FROM THE MENS PREJUDGING FROM BOB CICHERILLO AND ALLAN DONNELLY!!

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