Photoshoot Recap: Emerald Cup 2013

Woman of Steel: Marissa Hein poses with her trophy at the Emerald Cup. She was figure class E champion.

Woman of Steel: Marissa Hein poses with her trophy at the Emerald Cup. She was figure class E champion.

I’m sure many of our longtime members and fans look forward to the Emerald Cup since it consistently brings some of the best and brightest young talent to the site. This year appears to be no different, as you can see from the special candids gallery already posted, and there’s plenty more where that came from.

Several deserving competitors were flashing big smiles and proudly carrying trophies, like our own sweetheart Marissa Hein, who came up a winner in the figure E class and will have confidence on her side when she heads to Team Universe later this year. Likewise for the hardworking Amber Jacobs, beaming in this photo taken after she won figure class C.

After a slow start, the photoshoot end of things picked up considerably on Sunday with clear skies and comfortable temperatures making it easier to work outside. Here’s the complete rundown of what you can expect to see in the days ahead from Seattle.

Without a doubt, one of the highlights of the weekend figures to be a brand new sisters in arms segment featuring two friends, pro phenom Jacklyn Abrams and rising star Kelcie Gahley, together showing off some fitness skills on the grass. Jacklyn, overall fitness champ at last year’s show, was in town to do a guest routine; while Kelcie, a phenom in her own right, competed and won this year’s fitness short class and is still just 19 years old. We also have more Kelcie (whose athletic background includes gymnastics and pole vaulting) to come in a solo shoot. She hopes to compete next at the Fitness Nationals on July 5.

Elsewhere, we have two new European models to introduce. First, figure competitor Oksana Balanyuk, born in the Ukraine but now residing in the Northwest. She finished second to Marissa in her class. Plus, there’s the striking Russian competitor Inna Ableman, who finished second in figure class B and brings some very impressive biceps to the mix.

Jackie's Back: IFBB pro and 2012 Cup fitness champ Jacklyn Abrams returned to perform a guest routine.

Jackie’s Back: Beautiful IFBB pro and ’12 Cup fitness champ Jacklyn Abrams returned to perform an epic guest routine.

Coincidentally, Brienne Eubanks, who didn’t compete over the weekend but is Oksana’s trainer, also stopped by to do a new shoot. She shows off a bigger, shapelier off season condition this time around.

We also have a new shoot with the delightful Emerald Cup regular Wendy Lindquist, who competed in the lightweight bodybuilding category. The powerful, athletic Canadian cutie continues to be a spokeswoman for natural women’s bodybuilding and is always a hit with her physique and bubbly, bright personality.

Also from Canada is Gloria Mohninger, who did double duty competing in both the fitness tall class (placing second) and the 40-and-up bikini division. She’s from Calgary and in great shape for the master’s category. We also have a perfect new ageless muscle candidate with Vivian Wood, who competed in physique at the amazing age of 56.

Finally, we have Rikki Smead, who could be the sleeper hit of the bunch as far as new talent. The beautiful 26-year-old from Portland, Oregon was an easy winner in her physique class at the Cup. Rikki was busy with her contest prep when I contacted her for an interview recently, but hopefully will have time in the coming days before her next show, the USAs, where she should be a strong contender for a pro card.


~ by Dean Sucich on May 9, 2013.

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