GNC TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS PREVIEW

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Sonia Adcock, Desha Rodriguez prepare for the Tournament of Champions

by Allan Donnelly

September 19, 2008

FLEXONLINE.COM

The GNC Tournament of Champions, the final contest before 2008 Olympia Weekend, will take place this Saturday in Anaheim, California, and the top of the lineup could be a preview of things to come at the Figure Olympia.

Reigning Figure International winner and 2007 Olympia runner-up Gina Aliotti headlines the event, with always-dangerous Sonia Adcock not far behind. Adcock, who placed third Tournament of Champions in 2006, returns two years later with two professional wins (2007 Pittsburgh Pro, 2007 California Pro) and three top five finishes at the Figure Olympia (3rd in 2008) and the Figure International (5th in 2007, 3rd in 2008) on her resume.

Both will face challenges from a group of competitors anxious to grab a qualifying spot to the Figure Olympia. Leading that charge are Huong Arcinas, Meriza DeGuzman, Tanya Merryman and first-year pro Desha Rodriguez.

See below for interviews with Sonia Adcock and Desha Rodriguez.

WHAT: 2008 Tournament of Champions
WHERE: Cook Auditorium, Anaheim CA
WHEN: Saturday, September 20
PREJUDGING: 11 am
FINALS: 6:30 pm
FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.musclecontest.com

GNC TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS COMPETITOR LIST
Sonia Adcock
Gina Aliotti
Huong Arcinas
Macey Boudreau
Jeni Briscoe
Valerie Christensen
Meriza DeGuzman
Maria Del Consuela Rojas
April Fortier
Erica Fuerst
Jacqui Jarrett
Tanya Merryman
Desha Rodriguez
Rosa Maria Romero
Zhanna Rotar
Laura Sutter
Sandie Ward

Sitting down with ... Sonia Adcock

NAME: Sonia Adcock
HEIGHT: 5'2"
WEIGHT: 108 pounds
OCCUPATION: IFBB Figure Pro, Manicurist
LIVES: Temecula, California
CONTEST HISTORY: 2006 - Tournament of Champions Pro Figure, 3rd; 2007 - Figure International, 3rd; Pittsburgh Pro, 1st; California Pro, 1st; Figure Olympia, 3rd; 2008 - Figure International, 5th

GETTING A LEG UP: Since the Figure International [in March], I've been working on my legs, they are kind of my shortcoming. I'm just working on defining and tweaking here and there and bringing my best physique. Absolutely I've improved, I'm coming in fuller.

JUDGING CHANGES: I'm going to come in a little fuller, I'm definitely following the guidelines and bringing a fuller, more athletic look.

BACK TO THE FUTURE: I did the Tournament of Champions in 2006 and finished third. It was my first pro show. My physique has evolved a little more, I've matured. But my philosophy hasn't really changed - you want to go in every show and do your best and win and hopefully you win and place at the top.

MARQUEE MATCHUP: I think Gina [Aliotti] and I will go toe-to-toe. But everybody will be bringing their best so we'll see what happens.

PREDICTION: I'm in it to win it, baby. That's all I can say. How confident am I on a scale of 1 to 10? 10.

GO FIGURE O: Obviously I want to place in the top five. I want to win it but place in the top five definitely. I think first callout will be me, Gina, Jenn Gates, Mary Lado and Jenny Lynn. Who's going to win? Me. (Laughs)

GO HERE FOR AN INTERVIEW WITH DESHA RODRIGUEZ!

Sonia Adcock, Desha Rodriguez prepare for the Tournament of Champions

by Allan Donnelly

September 19, 2008

FLEXONLINE.COM

The GNC Tournament of Champions, the final contest before 2008 Olympia Weekend, will take place this Saturday in Anaheim, California, and the top of the lineup could be a preview of things to come at the Figure Olympia.

Reigning Figure International winner and 2007 Olympia runner-up Gina Aliotti headlines the event, with always-dangerous Sonia Adcock not far behind. Adcock, who placed third Tournament of Champions in 2006, returns two years later with two professional wins (2007 Pittsburgh Pro, 2007 California Pro) and three top five finishes at the Figure Olympia (3rd in 2008) and the Figure International (5th in 2007, 3rd in 2008) on her resume.

Both will face challenges from a group of competitors anxious to grab a qualifying spot to the Figure Olympia. Leading that charge are Huong Arcinas, Meriza DeGuzman, Tanya Merryman and first-year pro Desha Rodriguez.

See below for interviews with Sonia Adcock and Desha Rodriguez.

WHAT: 2008 Tournament of Champions
WHERE: Cook Auditorium, Anaheim CA
WHEN: Saturday, September 20
PREJUDGING: 11 am
FINALS: 6:30 pm
FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.musclecontest.com

Sitting down with ... Desha Rodriguez

NAME: Desha Rodriguez
AGE: 27
HEIGHT: 5 '1/4"
WEIGHT: 102 pounds
OCCUPATION: IFBB Figure Pro, Exceptional Needs Education Teacher
LIVES: Hollywood, Florida
CONTEST HISTORY: 2008 Atlantic City Pro, 4th

TIME OFF: I took the year off won after I won my class at USAs. Honestly was more for my family - I have two small children and my husband has three kids from a previous marriage - and I just had to refocus. I kept training, trying to bring up the body parts I needed to improve.

NERVES: I'm a nervous wreck right now. I had a great experience last weekend in Atlantic City, I was really comfortable - I actually felt way more relaxed on stage then I could have ever imagined. But now I'm nervous again! Hopefully when get out to California I'll feel good. I don't know if the nerves ever go away.

FAMILY: With two girls who just turned four and five, I've got my hands full. It's definitely been more difficult as far as contest prep goes. The responsibility of being a parent, having to be in three different places at once, getting up at 4 am so I can get one cardio session in before the children wake up and working full-time - it's challenging. Plus, the diet is definitely a lot harder when you're surrounded by snacking food all day.

SUCCESSFUL DEBUT: Yeah absolutely. Of course I dreamed about how amazing it would be to qualify [for the Figure Olympia] in my debut, but I was definitely thrilled with fourth place, especially in that lineup lineup. I'm very pleased and always looking to improve. I'm hoping to move up one spot this weekend, we'll see.

NAME GAME: Obviously Gina [Aliotti] and Sonia [Adcock]. I work with GNC and Sonia recently came on, so I had the opportunity to work with her. If that's the top two, that kind of puts the pressure on. I'm excited to see how I match up with them.

TOP THREE: Gina, Sonia and myself!

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