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2006 Arnold Classic/Ms. International Contest Report

March 3-4, 2006 - by gene x hwang

Columbus, OH, USA - With Yaxeni Oriquen the reigning Ms. Olympia competing at the Ms. International and with a previous Ms. Olympia, Iris Kyle both competing, you knew it was going to be a shootout and this time around, the often overlooked Iris Kyle was crowned the 2006 Ms. International in Columbus, OH.

With a single class of female bodybuilders - one of the new changes that took effect for the 2006 competitive season - the lineup of 14 bodybuilders was diverse but impressive. Kyle came in looking incredible with her crisp conditioning, incredible lines, and of course her notable muscularity and symmetry. All of those factors came together perfectly for her to beat Dayana Cadeau who placed an impressive second, and current Ms. Olympia Oriquen.

Yaxeni  Oriquen, Iris Kyle and Betty Pariso

Someone that everyone was interested in was Jitka Harazimova. At the 2005 Charlotte Pro she looked impressive upon returning to competition, and was much sharper this time out at the Ms. International with more fullness, better conditioning and some of the best aesthetics on stage.

With the judging criteria apparently always in flux, there was a bit of wonder in the air if they might push Harazimova forward. Ultimately though Kyle was a deserving champion.

Betty Pariso followed the top four taking fifth and was sharp as she consistently is. The oldest Ms. International competitor did not look the part as she beat out many of the younger athletes including the trio of fine physiques that followed her: Bonny Priest in 6th who is really a solid pro and was looking very tight, Annie Rivieccio in 7th who looks like she's a veteran pro and belonging in every lineup she competes in, and Lisa Aukland in 8th who could have been a bit more crisp in her conditioning. Aukland is one who if she just dialed in her diet a shade more and peaks just right should be able to win a pro show.

Michelle Flake, Monica Brant, Amanda Savell, Christine Pomponio-PateOf course the offerings are thin with only four shows in total in 2006 with only two that are open competitions so hopefully we will see a lot of fresh faces qualifying for the Olympia.

Rounding out the top ten was Kim Harris who looked very sharp and balanced just as Antoinette Norman was. Both were the smaller (former lightweight class when there were two weight classes in the pros) and may have suffered from not appearing as large in the lineup while Mah-Ann Mendoza was too soft to have placed higher.

Rose Jennings was thick and very full, but because of the incredible shapes in the lineup, was not able to crack the top ten.

Canada's ever popular Christine Roth was eagerly anticipated and she brought in a new this year. Toning it down a bit and donning heels for her evening finals routine, Roth was popular with the fans, but without the extra mass was not able to place higher.

The ever consisten Angela Debatin rounded out the field and did not in any way look like a last place physique. That all just goes to show that the field was incredibly deep and talented and if we can continue to have pro lineups like this, the sport hsould continue to grow.

Mary Elizabeth LadoFitness and Figure both drew big crowds and the athletes in each group were impressive. There were a few debuts but one person missing was Arnold Figure International champion Jenny Lynn who had to pull out after check-in. As one of the favorites, that left the window open and after prejudging, many felt that this could end up being Monica Brant's year.

Brant always comes in looking fantastic, but the judges went with Mary Elizabeth Lado's more sleek and streamlined physique crowning her the 2006 champion just ahead of Brant.

Amanda Savell placed third and is already a top figure pro while Chastity Sloan came in incredible conditioning and was looking muscular in placing fourth. Canadian Jane Awad took fifth and has been slowly pushing up the rankings. With some of the best calves on stage and great lines, Awad has potential to win a show.

Christine Pomponio-Pate kept her ever consistent top six placings streak alive (she's never placed lower than sixth in any pro show). One of the surprises was Valerie Waugaman. Waugaman has looked incredible and if she comes in tight and full, she is always going to be a threat to win a show. However, at this competition, Waugaman was looking a bit off. Her face looked a little full and she wasn't in her best shape so keep an eye out for her to make amends at a future show.

Michelle Flake may have been one of the more muscular competitors and was downgraded by the judges for that. However, she looks very impressive and if she were taller and could stretch that muscularity over a longer body would fare better. Of course genetics don't quite work that way.

There was also good buzz on Danielle Hollenshade and Gina Camcho. Both have nice shapes and should rate higher as they continue to compete.

On the fitness side of things, Jen Hendershott was the defending champion but this time around, the judges awarded Adela Garcia the champ and the always rising Kim Klein took second. Klein has always been improving and this was one of her best showings.

Hendershott's physique was not quite on as it has been in the past although her previous improvements were still there, but she's had to work so hard to overcome her structure while other athletes that have been gifted with better genetics have had an easier time.

Fitness InternationalTracey Greenwood is one of them with good shape and she brought in an excellent physique as always. Julie Childs looked strong as well and cracked the top five and got her Olympia qualification wrapped up.

The next two placings went to veterans Tanji Johnson and Julie Palmer respectively, while Germany's Regiana DaSilava made her pro debut in the top ten in 8th place ahead of two great veteran competitors - Angela Monteleone-Semsh and Stacey Simons. Mindi O'Briend also tied for tenth and Heidi Fletcher also was making her pro debut and took 12th just ahead of Allison Daughtry who was ripped and looked very tight.

Of course the competition is a big deal at the Arnold but the Expo is almost a reason in and of itself to check out the Arnold. Each year it grows and this year was no exception. We'll be posting our full expo and after-party photo-report shortly so keep a lookout for that.

In the meantime, check out our message boards for more updates and photos from the weekend and post your thoughts on the competition.

Debi Laszewski overall 2005 NPC Nationals womens bodybuidling champion


Ms. International

1) Iris Kyle*
2) Dayana Cadeau*
3) Yaxeni Oriquen*
4) Jitka Harazimova*
5) Betty Pariso*
6) Bonny Priest*
7) Annie Rivieccio*
8) Lisa Aukland*
9) Kim Harris
10) Antoinette Norman
11) Mah-Ann Mendoza
12) Rosemary Jennings
13) Christine Roth
14) Angela Debatin

* qualifies for 2006 Olympia

Fitness International

1) Adela Garcia*
2) Kim Klein*
3) Jenny Hendershott*
4) Tracey Greenwood*
5) Julie Childs*
6) Tanji Johnson*
7) Julie Palmer
8) Regiana DaSilva
9) Angela Monteleone-Semsch
10 tie) Stacey Simons
10 tie) Mindi O'Brien
12) Heidi Fletcher
13) Allison Daughtry

Figure International

1) Mary Elizabeth Lado*
2) Monica Brant*
3) Amanda Savell*
4) Chastity Sloane*
5) Jane Awad*
6) Christine Pomponio-Pate*
7) Latisha Wilder
8) Valerie Waugaman
9) Monica Guerra
10) Elaine Goodlad
11) Danielle Hollenshade
12) Gina Camacho
13) Nina Luchka
14) Debby Leung
15) Michelle Flake
16) Tammy Pies
17) Ali Metkovich
DNP) Anna Larssen
DNP) Zhanna Rotar
DNP) Jenny Lynn**

* qualifies for 2006 Olympia

** withdrew due to Injury

Last updated: 3/6/2006 @ 9:07 a.m. PT






















































































































































































































































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