Body builders invade Arlington's BPAC

Four finalists qualified for the overall competition and a chance to win their pro card. From left, Luke Ehlis (heavyweight), Tony Quincy (light heavyweight), victor Brad Loomis (middle weight), Jason Kennedy (light weight). -
Four finalists qualified for the overall competition and a chance to win their pro card. From left, Luke Ehlis (heavyweight), Tony Quincy (light heavyweight), victor Brad Loomis (middle weight), Jason Kennedy (light weight).
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ARLINGTON As light heavyweight Tony Quincy posed on stage, sweat ran down his chest.

But that was nothing compared with his competitor in the overall contest, Luke Ehlis, who was nearly drenched and still recovering from the exhaustion of the just-ended heavyweight competition. The two vied against middle weight Brad Loomis and light weight James Gilchrest in the men's body building competition, with the chance to earn a pro card on the line.

The committee of nine judges put the four men through the proverbial racks, their exertion evident in the expressions on their faces. Quincy, who splits his training between Everett and the Arlington Gold's Gym, had a particularly busy day in the all-day competition at the Linda Byrnes Performing Arts Center.

Quincy entered the competition already a victor in the light heavyweight class that qualified him for the overall. And earlier in the evening he took home a trophy in the mixed pairs where he posed with fellow Everett resident Patty Smith.

But when the judges announced the overall winner, they did not call Quincy's name.

He didn't seem terribly disappointed. Although Quincy has trained "off and on" for about 20 years, a pro card would mean a lot more hard work.

"The pro card would involve putting on more size, getting more lean," he said. And while he enjoys training, that's the easy part. "The diet is hard," he added, figuring his body fat was probably a half- to a full-percentage point higher than his competition.

Quincy did follow the overall contest with another award he was named the winner of the Most Improved award.

He attributes his showing in this event to dieting harder than he did preparing for last year's contest.

It's not accurate to say body builders stay in the same condition all year long though, Quincy said. When he wants to indulge, Quincy goes for a pizza with the works.

In its third year, the Washington State Natural Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure Championships were hosted by Kevin and Denise James from United Fitness. The Aug. 9 event drew competitors from all around the state and as far away as Georgia, Montana and California.

Throughout the competition, emcee Denise James, a pro body builder in her own right, emphasized the drug-free nature of the athletes' training and defended the beauty of the contestants from the idea that their appearance was in any way unconventional.

Arlington resident and competitive rookie Robin Russell said she started getting into body building about two and a half years ago when she took up training at Arlington's Gold's Gym.

In her first competition, the 48-year-old truck driver placed second in the masters women's body building competition and took fifth in a class of about 10 in the figures short competition.

Russell dedicates about two to three hours to her sport every time she can make it to the gym.

"I want to see how far I can take it," she said of her motivation to train.

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