GSO 2021 Review PDF Hello again Granite State Open supporters. Well, this year’s wrap up is one of a different tale. “The Show Must Go On” and “It Takes a Village” have long been mottos that we abide by. And it took all of that and “Tolerance to a ‘T’” this year.
Primarily, we hope and pray that each of you have weathered the trials and tribulations of this pandemic. The effects of CoVid cases, family structure, social interactions, employment, travel, academics, supplies and demands, economic impacts, facilities availabilities and everything else, have all filtered through all of us. Still, we held the 27th Annual GSO, with creative collaborations, limitless assistance and loving team work. Thank you all! : Best Western Inn at Hampton and Millstone Function Facility, The Turtle Team, Woos Crew and friends~
Since 1991, the Turtle Team have brought small to larger competition to the NH Seacoast. This anniversary year allowed us to “go home” to Hampton and reinvent our protocols as an adaptation to a theatre setting. With participation holding strong, we layered the event day to two parts. Fortunately, the athletes and their teams were ready and willing to adapt to a Function facility setting and a Hotel package. The event venue was layered with stage, light, sound, seating, design, tanning, pump up, hair and makeup, drug screening and check in, and amenities. The box office kept the audience moving and the patrons dealt with a torrential storm to attend. We appreciate how everyone stayed in their lane and worked together.
It was a Halloween to be sure. Most every person involved was kind, patient and full of fun. The world seems to have more grumpy folks, and, they too, were patient in the end. When you keep your eyes and heart open, amazing things can happen. We were blessed by the vocals of a newcomer, a wonderful artist, Tiffany Colston. She was competing for her first time and was inspirational as she began the day for us in singing the National Anthem. We were also honored by the talents of superb sound with DJ Ryan Parker. He kept the house and athletes’ specialty music scores tight and steady throughout a full agenda.
Our Lighting was a glitch this season, as the room did not warrant the overall look we hoped for. Still, the judges and Chris Keeley, our photographer, cobbled the stage line ups so that everyone in every class received even viewing by all. It was certainly a “witches’ wart” for this promoter. The officials, like the athletes, came in from throughout all of New England, Maine, NH, Mass and this mature coed team worked efficiently and seamlessly as a fine panel. All placings were well ranked and all classes put through their respective paces. We weathered the challenges and the Turtle Team kept pump up to stage and awards presentations finely honed as over a hundred and twenty-five awards were received. Each athlete also was presented with a competition medallion in appreciation for their participation. Beautiful flora arrangements added to overall awards.
We were pleased to welcome a fabulous blend of Bodybuilders, whom you can see in a fun photo with our officials on our website home page. Once upon a time, most of the GSO was ALL bodybuilding, and 31 years later we are still drawing, Novice, Masters and Open Men and Women to the stage. Brand new and full of eagerness was novice Marina Camponeski, a young lady with dedication and focus whom we wish much success for many years to come. Masters Christine Burzenski took her division with tautness and full conditioning. Melissa Little* came in hard and balanced to take the Overall Women’s Bodybuilding. Her abs are phenomenal! Best posers were given to Marina and Christine and, in open, to Jessica Favreau- an animated and strong contender. The Men’s Divisions brought a returning Jarrett MacKinnnon, evolving from Physique to a very appropriate bodybuilding class with size, shape, and fullness. He took the Novice and we look forward to his continued climb up the competitive ladder. This show was FULL of Masters Men! It was wonderful to see so many returning competitors as well as worthy new opponents. Placing in 40+ winning 50 + Michael Ingalls pulled out the stops on conditioning and preparedness. This earned him a Pro Card and a smile you could see for hours! His steady display of stage work, in flex and not letting down, kept the judges’ eye on his hard work. There were a number of athletes this year that received local media recognition: Bryan Bedard over in Brattleboro, NH and Michel Ingalls in an upcoming NH Magazine “Transcript” highlight. Thank you to everyone who spreads the word of Natural Competition to ‘earth people”. The Open Men’s divisions spanned 40 years and as many pounds. In the end, Light, Middle and Heavy class winners came out for the Overall Mr.GSO and James McGonigle took the Overall as a Middleweight. He also won best poser with a fanciful routine that worked the entire stage. This repeat contestant has been vying for a number of years to gain his Pro Card and we were thrilled at his well-earned success!
As the event rotated from Bodybuilding, we also featured Men’s Physique, Fitbody, Figure, Couples and Bikini. It is exciting to see a newcomer do well. To that end, Ingrid Hart won the Novice Figure Class and went on to compete and take the overall in Women’s Masters Figure also. Between the two classes, she had her work cut out for her, and did very well in a full field, to earn a Pro card. Next up, a very developed, toned, symmetrical and taught Figure Open class. Congratulations to a sassy Stephanie Kozicki on her Pro Card win. We look forward to both Women competing as successful GSO Pros.
In today’s competitive world, many newcomers cross over from one Division to another to see how they may measure up in varying criterion. In Novice FitBody, we saw a fully muscled and graciously presented Megan Carter earn the win. There is also the highly competitive athlete’s physique, who can perform well in more than one class, given the competition of the day. Barring the field, on the top of her game, Melissa Little* rose to the occasion to come out again and win the Overall FitBody and her Pro Card in that Division.
The officials of the INBF/WNBF are well reared in looking at the competitors with regard to criterion by division, and honor athletes with fresh evaluations should they cross over. To this end, fair and objective placings clearly depict the rank and outcome throughout the event. When classes are lightly attended, the time on stage may be a bit shorter, but no less challenging. Put though their quarter turns, comparisons and stage walks, our Men’s Physique competed comprehensively in their board shorts. Here, personalities filled the room and the audience favored the individual styles of these svelte gents. Congratulations to Novice Corey Nystrom and Overall Open winner Abdelrahman Khater.
One retro feature of the Granite State Open is our Couples Division. We invite athletes to enter with any pairing they want, to compete as a team. We have seen a variety of pairings over the past few seasons: Bikini Doubles, Fitbody and Figure, Bodybuilding Men Doubles, Coed Bodybuilding, and Figure with Physique. Put it on your calendar to come and have fun with your gym buddy! This years Couples champions were Jessica Kallis and Austin Avanzato, posing appropriately to Mrs. Robinson…FUN!
As the brawnier Divisions of the day received their awards, the sultry, beautiful, tawny and sleek blend of Bikini competitors got their final tans, hair and makeup in order to take the stage. What a fabulous and eclectic group of fine athletes, coming from as far as California throughout the Northeast. Like the other Divisions, the top five in each Open Class were invited to compete as amateurs at The INBF/WNBF World’s in Las Vegas the following month. Very full classes lined up and were put through their quarter turns, front and back walks, individual stage walks and comparisons. In the end, the Novice title went to Ataiana Carabello. In the Masters and Open there were multiple classes. Short champion, Masters Nancy Labbe worked competitively against Tall Michelle Beausejour, with the latter taking the Overall Masters Division and Pro Card title.
Be reminded. When one earns a “PRO CARD”, they are earning an invitation to apply as a Pro in a Professional contest. Winning at the GSO or any other event does not “make” you a pro. Ones status as such is activated once the drug testing results are returned, the athlete joins the WNBF and competes at a Pro Level. Many athletes will go right up the ladder or wait a year to take the Pro stage. Most wonderfully, we are honored to be a Pro Qualifier and offer strict standards and competitive classes for all on this track. And, the Bikini ladies prove it. Three Open class winners, coming to fruition in highly challenging and full fields, vied for the overall win this day. Short champion Zuleima Regalado aced her class with complete symmetry and beautiful personal style. Hot on her trail was Susanne Shaw in Medium Ht. with a fun and frolicky stage presence. The tall class winner, Kristy MacMillan, edged to the win with sleek lines, overall condition and poise. Each lady is a fine example of the competitive spirit and good will that we respect and appreciate at the GSO.
You can see photos and results elsewhere on our web site. We encourage everyone to SAVE THE DATE as the 28th Annual GSO will return Next Halloween: Saturday October 29th, 2022. ANNNNND, we are all set to treat our adults only to the fine new Theatre at THE BROOK, just off Rte. 95, exit 0ne, Seabrook, N.H. Stay tuned for further details.