Women's prejudging galleries and report
by Dave Lee
March 6, 2009
It's unseasonably warm for early March in Columbus, Ohio and you can bet a good deal of that is a result of the heat generated at the 2009 Arnold Classic prejudging for women's bodybuilding, fitness and figure from the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
In the Ms. International, defending champion and four-time winner Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia will face her stiffest challenge from three-time champ, Iris Kyle. Kyle, who placed seventh here last year, redeemed herself with an overpowering victory late in the season at the '08 Olympia.
With defending champion Kim Schleider retired from competition, the door is wide open for a new Fitness International champion this year. Perennial favorite Jen Hendershot - the 2008 Fitness International runner-up and '08 Fitness Olympia champion - is the front-runner. In figure, fast-rising star Gina Aliotti, the 2008 Figure International champion and '08 Figure Olympia runner-up is the favorite to repeat her victory from last year.
Iris Kyle set the tone early with a physique that had size, shape and intricate detail to put her firmly in the lead. "I'm here to erase '08," Kyle said, moments after stepping offstage. "I'm not leaving Columbus without win number four." Dayana Cadeau, Debi Laszewski, Oriquen-Garcia, Betty Viana-Adkins and Heather Armbrust battle it out for second through sixth.
Betty Pariso did not compete.
After rounds one and two, it looks like Jenn Hendershot, Tracey Greenwood and Julie Palmer will be fighting it out for the top three spots, with Nicole Wilkins-Lee, Tina Durkin and Trish Warren rounding out the probable top six. Prior to taking the stage for her 45-second routine, Hendershot said, "I love coming to Columbus for the Arnold and competing with the best girls in the word." When asked what the crowd could expect from one of the fitness world's best performers, Hendershot replied, "Entertainment. I'm going to have some fun and get the fans going."
With rounds one and two in the books, it's shaping up to be Aliotti, Zilvile Raudoniene and Amy Fry in a tight race for top three with Kristal Richardson, Felicia Romero and Sonia Gonzales bringing up the final six. "I feel very confident of my chances," Aliotti said at the conclusion of the afternoon's prejudging. "I would love to defend my Figure International title and be a two-time winner."
Stay tuned to Flexonline,com for the final results tonight, March 6 from the Veteran's Memorial Auditorium in Columbus, Ohio.
click on name for gallery
Womens Bodybuilding Comparisons Gallery One
Heather Mae French
Sonia (Adcock) Gonzales
Figure Comparisons Gallery One
Figure Comparisons Gallery Two
Regiane Da Silva
Fitness Comparisons Gallery One
Fitness Comparisons Gallery Two