Melvin Anthony wins in Atlantic City

by Allan Donnelly

September 13, 2008


(Complete competitor galleries below)

If there was ever any doubt as to whether Melvin Anthony made a mistake by entering a contest two weeks out from the Mr. Olympia for the second year in a row, he erased it the moment he stepped on stage at this morning’s prejudging. Eight hours later, after winning the 2008 Atlantic City Pro with unanimous first-place votes, Anthony did something else: Re-established himself as a legitimate threat to crack the top five on the sport’s biggest stage in Las Vegas.

Displaying his best form since placing fifth at the 2006 Olympia, Anthony outclassed a trio of decorated veterans – Johnnie Jackson, Darrem Charles and Toney Freeman – on the way to the second pro win of his career, and the first since 2004.

“This sets me up for a good placing at the Olympia,” Anthony said. “I wanted to come in as hard as I could to knock Toney [Freeman] off and put myself in the same lineup as Dexter [Jackson] and Phil [Heath].”

A year ago, Anthony came to Atlantic City treating the contest as a tune-up of sorts before the Olympia. The strategy backfired, as Anthony missed the mark and ended up placing fourth behind Jackson, Charles and David Henry. This year, Anthony made sure not to allow history to repeat itself.

“Everybody thought I was treating this like a tuneup, and I took that personal,” Anthony said. “I did everything I needed to do to come in and peak for this show. I knew it was gonna be a fight. Everybody at the top was good. I still had a battle on my hands on that stage. But we accomplished our mission.”

Jackson, who won this contest in 2006 and 2007, posed the biggest threat to Anthony by coming to his home state of New Jersey in excellent condition. Despite being left out of the first callout, Jackson fought his way to the top of the order to finish as a solid runner-up.

Charles, the runner-up here in both 2006 and 2007, edged out Freeman in the open show to place third hours after toppling the X-Man en route to the first Master’s win of his career.

Mens Bodybuilding Winner Melvin Anthony


Men’s Bodybuilding Runner-up Johnnie Jackson


One month ago, Toney Freeman erased a two-point deficit after the prejudging to storm back in the finals and defeat Dennis James at the Tampa Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championships. In the Masters Division, Darrem Charles turned the tables on Freeman by overcoming a two-point deficit of his own to post a four-point win over pre-show favorite Freeman.

Charles, who missed the mark in Houston, Tampa and Dallas earlier this summer, returned to form by displaying his trademark zippered quads and triceps and out-conditioned Freeman in an extremely competitive Masters Division that featured, among others, Joel Stubbs and Vince Taylor. Stubbs, for his part, displayed the most massive and overwhelming upper bdy in the contest, and only his legs – consistently a lagging bodypart in comparison – prevented him from placing higher.

(L to R) Masters Winner Darrem Charles and Masters Runner-up Toney Freeman

Jenn Gates confirmed her status as a threat for a top-three placing – and possibly more – at this year’s Figure Olympia by winning with straight firsts. Gates notched career victory number three in only her second year as a pro.

Amy Fry followed up her win at the Pittsburgh Pro in May by placing second, while Jane Awad grabbed a long-awaited qualification to the Figure Olympia by finishing third.

Figure Winner Jenn Gates

Tracey Greenwood continued her recent string of successful finishes by winning her third straight contest and the eighth of her career. Greenwood won the Houston Pro in July and the Europa Super Show in August.

Canada’s Mindi O’Brien finished second, while Laticia Jackson finshed third.

Fitness Winner Tracey Greenwood and Runner-up Mindi O’Brien

(L to R)Women’s Bodybuilding Winner Lisa Aukland and third-place finisher Betty Adkins

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Lisa Aukland made it three-for-three in Atlantic City, winning her third straight Atlantic City Pro title. Aukland, who placed third at the Ms. International in March, established herself as a front runner for a top-five spot – or better – at this year’s Ms. Olympia. Mah-Ann Mendoza placed second while Betty Adkins, who appeared to be neck-and-neck with Aukland after the prejudging, placed third.

Christine Wan won the Masters Figure. Melissa Frabbiele placd second and Tivisay Briceno placed third.

Masters Figure Winner Christine Wan

See complete score sheets here!

Adorthus Cherry
Alfonso Del Rio
Armin Scholz
Cesar Mendible-Baptista
Contantinos Demetriou
Craig Richardson
Eddie Abbew
Elvis Brown
Hidetada Yamagishi
Johnny Jackson
Jo Jo Ntiforo
Jonathan Rowe
King Kamali
Lionel Brown
Luke Wood
Martin Kjellstrom
Melvin Anthony
Omar Deckard
Shehab Eldin
Tarek Elsetouhi
Tommi Thorvildsen
Will Harris
Yan Salaks
Mens Bodybuilding Comparisons Gallery

Andy Haman
Anthony Finocchiaro
Bill Scarnaty
Charles Urrego
Darrem Charles
Fedel Clarke
Gilles Bellehumeur
Igor Leontieff
Joel Stubbs
Johnny Stewart
Ken Jones
Lee Apperson
Marc Lavoie
Marcel Chayard
Marcos Chacon
Massimo Valli
Mike Horn
Milton Holloway
Omar Borrelli
Paul LaSalsa
Pavol Jablonicky
Rodney Davis
Roland Huff
Rusty Jeffers
Steven Burke
Toney Freeman
Viggo Snowhill
Vince Taylor
Mens Bodybuilding Comparisons Gallery

Angela Debaten
Annie Rivieccio
Aurelia Grozajova
Betty Adkins
Carla Salotti
Charlotte Collins
Emery Miller
Irene Andersen
Isabelle Turell
Jana Linke-Sippl
Kim Buck
Lisa Aukland
Mah Ann Mendoza
Maria Calo
Marja Lehtonon
Mary Ellen Jerumbo
Melanie DeRosa
Mercedes Bazemore
Womens Bodybuilding Comparisons Gallery

Allison Jones-Williams
Amy Fry
Aprille DeShield
Becky Clawson
Candice John
Desha Rodriguez
Elisha Archibold
Erica Fuerst
Jacqui Jarrett
Jane Awad
Jennifer Gates
Krissy Chin
Kristin Gomes
Larissa Reis
Rosa Maria Romera
Tana Clough
Figure Comparisons Gallery
Cea Anna Kerr
Christine Wan
Irina Veselova
Jeanette Kolonias
Juliana Malacarne
Kate Shelby
Lydia Haskell
Melissa Frabbiele
Rosalind Vanterpool
Stephanie Tulin-Togrul
Thais Cabrices-Werner
Tivisay Briceno
Figure Comparisons Gallery

Bethany Wagner
Brenda Santiago
Donna Jones
Jennifer Cassetty
Laticia Jackson
Leslie Rae Newton
Mandy Polk
Marnie Holley
Michele Mayberry
Mindi O’Brien
Myriam Capes
Shannon Dey
Stacy Simons
Tracey Greenwood
Fitness Comparisons Gallery