ST. LOUIS PRO FIGURE AND BIKINI FINALS

Nicole Wilkins, Jessica Andrews win in St. Louis!

March 19, 2011

FLEXONLINE.COM

It's been nearly two years since Nicole Wilkins competed in back-to-back contests. On Saturday night at the first-ever St. Louis Pro Figure and Bikini Championships, Wilkins demonstrated why she consider doing it more often.

For the second consecutive contest, Wilkins garnered straight firsts on the judges scorecards. Two weeks prior, Wilkins had received straight firsts while winning her second consecutive Figure International title in Columbus, Ohio.

"I always feel like I'm better at the second show," Wilkins said. "It gives me another couple weeks to make adjustments, tighten up and come in a little leaner."

It wasn't as easy as it seemed, however. Wilkins came down with acute bronchitis just days after winning the Figure International. Although she never considered pulling out of St. Louis, it did have an effect on her preparation.

"I started feeling it on the Tuesday after. Combined with traveling for photo shoots and appearances that week, it made everything a little more difficult," Wilkins said. "But I stuck to it and it was all worth it."

The surprise of the night came in the battle for second, as Teresa Anthony nudged past Ava Cowan for the runner-up spot. Cowan had momentum on her side after a third-place finish at the Figure International, a contest in which Anthony had placed seventh. But Anthony came in tighter than she was in Columbus, while Cowan was a tad off her career-best performance.

In bikini, rookie Jennifer Andrews - competing in only her third professional contest - slipped past Jessica Jesse and Jessica Putnam to capture the first IFBB win of her career. Andrews, the overall winner at the 2010 NPC Nationals, qualified for the Bikini Olympia in September with the win.

Jesse was competing for the first time this season. Putnam followed up her fourth-place finish at the Bikini International with a third-place finish here.

Approximately 1,300 fans turned out for the Saturday night finals, while roughly 700 were in attendance for the morning prejudging.

GO HERE FOR FINAL RESULTS AND PHOTO GALLERIES!

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