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
Betty Viana-Adkins
Brenda Raganot
Cathy LeFrancois
Dayana Cadeau
Debi Laszewski
Dena Westerfield
Heather Armburst
Iris Kyle
Isabelle Turell
Mah-Ann Mendoza
Maria Gomez
Rosemary Jennings
Yaxeni Oriquen-Garcia
Womens Bodybuilding Comparisons Gallery One
Amy Fry
Brenda Marie-Smith
Chastity Slone
Erin Stern
Felicia Romero
Georgina Lona
Gina Aliotti
Heather Mae French
Huong Arcinas
Juliana Malacarne
Kristal Richardson
Latisha Wilder
Lenay Hernandez
Monica Brant
Sherlyn Roy
Sonia (Adcock) Gonzales
Zivile Raudoniene
Figure Comparisons Gallery One
Figure Comparisons Gallery Two

Bethany Gainey
Erin Riley
Heidi Fletcher-Sullivan
Jen Henderschott
Jessica Clay
Julie Palmer
Mindi O’Brien
Nicole Duncan
Nicole Wilkins-Lee
Oksana Grishina
Regiane Da Silva
Shannon Meteraud
Tanji Johnson
Tina Durkin
Tracy Greenwood
Trish Warren
Fitness Comparisons Gallery One
Fitness Comparisons Gallery Two