Evan Centopani shines at New York Pro prejudging

May 16, 2009

By Shawn Perine


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It’s not often that a rookie pro bursts out of the starting blocks with a pro win, but tonight bodybuilding may witness such a rare occurance should 27-year-old Evan Centopani fulfill his promise and win the 2009 New York Pro men’s open bodybuilding competition.

Sporting excellent lines, an impressive set of arms and good conditioning, Centopani looked like a winner from the get-go. He’s added quality mass since his ’07 Nationals win, particularly in the back. While his thighs could use a bit more bulk to bring better balance between his upper and lower, they ain’t bad.

Joining the 250-plus Evan in the final callout of the show were big Dennis James and giant Marcus Ruhl, proving that in New York, at least, bigger is better. Dennis brought one of his better packages in recent years and in his trademark most muscular he looks unbeatable. From the back, however, Dennis’ Achilles’ Heel – his back – draws from his overall impressivness.

Marcus looks the best he had in years. His pec tear of a couple years ago is hardly noticeable and he’s as big as ever. Detracting from his overall look though is myriad lumps and bumps not definable as muscle.

Two men who could make a case for having made the final callout were Silvio Samuel and Hidetada Yamagishi. Hidetada in particular brought one of his best looks to date, with great coloring to boot. Silvio was off from his usual stellar conditioning and seemed a tad smaller than we’re used to seeing. Still, “off” from Silvio is “on for most.

Look for Centopani to not only qualify for the ’09 Olympia tonight, but quite possibly establish himself as bodybuilding’s brightest new star.

In the 202-pound class a tight battle between Kevin English, Mark Dugdale, Pittsburgh Pro 202 winner Eduardo Correa da Silva and Dave Henry is emerging. It’s tough to call a winner in this one. A random survey of front row attendees resulted in three different favorites with English and Dugdale in a popularity tie. Kevin looks bigger than ever hard to believe he’s just 202 pounds. Dugdale is shredded but lacks English’s incredible taper. Correa has a mighty impressive upper body but needs more leg mass and shoulder development. Henry could have won this show had he brought the conditioning, but it’s looking as if he will fall short of victory due to slightly subpar conditioning.

Tonight’s 202 show should be a barn burner. Be sure to check back when we bring you a full report as soon as the results come in.

The first callout of the 2009 NY Pro women’s bodybuilding competition featured last year’s champ, Cathy LeFrancois, along with native New Yorker Rosemary Jennings and the ageless Betty Pariso.

While not the biggest competitor of the show, Cathy brings an appealing combination of development, conditioning and irrepressible effervescence that could just garner her a second NY Pro title in two years.

Both Jennings and Pariso are at or near their all-time best and look to be pushing LeFrancois for overall honors.

The prejudging’s second callout spotlighted Debbie Bramwell, Tazzie Colomb, Jeannie Paparone, Dena Westerfield and Brenda Raganot. These five, along with most of the rest of the 24 women’s competitors, have all brought a high level of conditioning – on the whole higher than the men’s contestants.

Will Cathy LeFrancois establish herself as one of the midseason favorites for the Olympia? Check back right here on flexonline this evening for a full report on the evening finals, which begin at 6pm EDST.