Mr. and Ms. West Bodybuilding Competition

Brianna Lindemann, Reporter

The auditorium of West Anchorage High School held a crowd that was audible from parking lot during the Mr. and Ms. West bodybuilding competition on Friday, March 25th at 7 p.m.  Both male and female students from all grades competed for the champion title.

A total of 11 students entered the show: Rylee Towell, Rhoda Bonglo, and Jazmin Miranda, made up the women’s Class A group.  Maddie Courrier, Victoria Jacobs, and Macy Cruz, made up the women’s Class B group.  For the men, Tristan Nyman, Syd Steele, and Joaquin Monterosa, made up the Lightweight group, and Joseph O’Brien and Fletcher Steele made up the Heavyweight group.

Competitors performed an individual routine and then mandatory group poses, followed by the crowd-favored “pose down.”

Winners of their weight classes, Towell and Jacobs faced off.  Despite Towell’s favoritism from the crowd, Jacobs took the champion title of Ms. West 2016.  Nyman and Fletcher Steele went head-to-head for the men’s title, and for his second time, Steele took home the Mr. West first-place trophy.  Nyman noted that seeing one of his closest friends take home the Mr. West title was, “Inspiring for all of us, even though we didn’t win.”

Although he took second place, Nyman said the, “Experience was what made it all worth it… we’re like a family up there.”  When asked why they entered the competition, many students had different motivations, but their encouragement of each other was evident.  When facing your school while covered in nothing but body paint and a bikini, a support system can be helpful.

Although it was only a high school level competition, the students met with professional trainers for help with preparation.  Trainer Kris Black said of their dedication that, “These kids have as much motivation as any adult bodybuilder.”  He explained that most trainers help with the participant’s nutrition and workout routines leading up to the show, and host the posing seminars that take place a couple of weeks before the competition.  “We try as hard as we can to build their confidence before they go out on and compete.”

Courrier described her diet for the day of the show, when she could, “Have no water, no salt, 150 grams of carbs before lunch, and no carbs after that.”  For many participants, this can be the hardest part of the competition.  Once they are on stage flexing in front of bright, hot lights, the exhaustion can kick in.  When Courrier was asked what keeps her going at times like that she said, “Seeing all of my friends and family cheering in the audience makes it so worth the struggle.”

Although some may not agree with the morality of teenage bodybuilding competitions, those who participate have dedicated enough time and energy to convince almost anyone that it is an extremely important part of their lives.

Winners of the individual school competitions in Anchorage can be seen in the city competitions later in April.