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Sometimes the old cliche rings true and you do, in fact, have to lose some to win some. Johnnie Jackson proved that to be the case on Saturday night by rebounding from a subpar early season to win the Atlantic City Pro September 15 against one of the toughest lineups of the year.
Jackson, who finished second at this contest a year ago, was victorious for the second time in his pro career, earning it in the same fashion as he won first Â by edging out Darrem Charles. Last year, he beat Charles at the Montreal Pro.
Meanwhile, David Henry returned to the David Henry of old and brought a conditioned, densely muscled physique to New Jersey to finish third, ahead of Melvin Anthony (fourth) and Craig Richardson, qualifying for the Olympia in the process.
The story of the night though, was Jackson. Well out of the running in his first two shows of 2007 Â he finished eighth at the Keystone Classic in a much less competitive field, and was ninth in JuneÂs Colorado Pro ÂJackson finished third behind winner Charles and runner-up Quincy Taylor in Montreal one week ago. But the 2001 NPC Nationals overall champ tightened up over the last week, and took the stage in Atlantic City much improved from the form he displayed in Canada. While he may not have had the super-shredded conditioning of Charles, he wasnÂt that far off.
ÂI took off for six months and I was just coming back,Â Jackson said of his showing at the Keystone Classic in May. ÂIt just took me a little while to get in contest shape. I really got out of shape and I did it to myself. But I wasnÂt worried about whether I was losing it. I still had my focus and I still knew who I was.Â
It didnÂt appear to be the case after FridayÂs prejudging, but the battle for second, third and fourth between Charles, Henry and Anthony was much closer than the battle for first. Charles finished only a single point ahead of Henry and five points ahead of Anthony. The precontest favorite after placing fifth at the 2006 Olympia Â his last contest before Atlantic City Â Anthony was simply too smooth to contend for the title.
Craig Richardson, meanwhile, surprised everyone by finishing fifth, ahead of Quincy Taylor, Chris Cormier and Fouad Abiad. The New Jersey native displayed phenomenal conditioning and needs only add some width and thickness to his back in order to be a threat in the future.
On the womenÂs side, Lisa Aukland won the over 135-pound class and the overall for the second win of her career, and her second win in Atlantic City. Betty Viana-Adkins finished second while Debi Laszewski came in third. Aukland also won here in 2006. CanadaÂs Nicole Ball won the under 135-pound class and qualified for the Olympia in her professional debut. Klaudia Larson and Angela Debatin placed second and third, respectively.
In fitness, Tracey Greenwood outclassed the rest of the field for the win, with Bethany Gainey and Julie Lohre coming in second and third. Andrea Dumon notched the first professional win of her career in figure, while Heather Green and Chastity Slone placed second and third.
For commentary and callouts from the menÂs prejudging, check out the forums on flexonline.com.
ATLANTIC CITY PRO FINAL RESULTS
September 15, 2007
1. Johnnie Jackson 33
2. Darrem Charles 55
3. David Henry 56
4. Melvin Anthony 60
5. Craig Richardson 109
6. Quincy Taylor 90
7. Chris Cormier 111
8. Fouad Abiad 120
9. Hidetada Yamagishi 128
10. Troy Alves 137