Nicole, Erin Lead Pack Again at Arnold
These days there are only two ways of knowing you are one of the best of the best in IFBB figure. One, your name is either Nicole or Erin; or two, you’re standing on stage next to either of them at the end of a show like the Figure International.
For the third year in a row, Nicole Wilkins and Erin Stern placed first and second at the Arnold Classic. The two phenoms have also traded victories in the last three Olympias, a string of dominance that would seem almost silly if it weren’t so exciting.
The excitement is two-fold. On one hand, it’s about the thrill of watching two women rise to the pinnacle of their sport and stay there. And on the other hand, it’s about anticipating the inevitable conclusion. Someday, the reign of these two has to end. Who will be the next great stars?
Heather Dees Soars to 5th
If the log jam at the top is to be officially broken up, it will have to wait until the Olympia in the fall. The most likely candidates for now seem to be Candice Keene, who finished third (many thought should have been higher) and Ava Cowan, who took fourth. A very nice surprise at the Arnold was Heather Dees, two-time studio model who continues to impress, climbing to fifth and becoming a genuine contender.
With such a surprisingly strong placing, Heather was easily the sleeper hit of the show. But in the end, it was the two tectonic plates of the figure world, the superior double team of Nicole and Erin, anchoring things again in Columbus.
Here’s a quick rundown of new models and shoots from the 2012 Arnold weekend coming soon to the site. Sorry, no sample pics to post at this time but maybe later with something in longer form.
Maria Laura Cerbelli showed off a great routine in the fitness round at the amateur show. The dark-haired, muscular athlete is originally from Argentina and now lives in Quebec, Canada. We also have Tiffany Mosley (photos-only due to time constraints) who will be making her competition debut in women’s physique soon.
Then there’s some tall European talent to come beginning with Mojca Polsak from Slovenia who comes in at around 5-foot-10, and Monica Richard out of Bogota, Colombia now living in the U.S. Monica competed in amateur figure but could be heading for the physique division next.
Plus, we’ve got a young, offseason bodybuilder from the Ukraine by the name of Anna Mikhaylenko who joins Capucine Leconte for some armwrestling and lift & carry action. Capucine has more of a girl next door figure look but with surprisingly striking natural biceps she claims to seldom even train. That might change after getting all this attention.