Northern Classic Brings The Chiseled To Pantages
By: Justin Gimse
Some of the best bodies in the Pacific Northwest were on display at Tacoma’s historic Pantages Theater on Saturday, Oct. 8 as the NPC Northern Classic returned for another day-long contest that has quickly become one of the hottest events of the year in the City of Destiny, even though it’s still somewhat of a secret to those outside of the fitness community.
After hosting the event at the Broadway Center’s Theater on the Square, interest and attendance has pushed the event to the much larger stage and room of the Pantages, and the result has turned this event into a “can’t miss” for body building and fitness buffs the last two years.
According to event co-promotor Christopher Algeo, the turnout for the early-day preliminaries, followed by the evening’s main event finals has been a pleasant surprise, and the interest has proven their move to the big Pantages room to be the correct decision. Barring unforeseen issues, the event will be returning to the big stage next year as well.
Algeo took over the event which was formerly known as the Northern Gold’s Classic over 12 years ago. The 1985 Stadium and 1989 Pacific Lutheran graduate was himself a competitive body builder and after hanging up the tiny shorts, thought that he just might have what it takes to move the competition forward and do something special with it. Since grabbing the reins and bringing on business partner Michele Mayberry about six years ago, the Northern Classic has become a destination for many of the best amateur physiques ranging from Alaska, down to northern California, and all parts in-between.
The Northern Classic is some serious business. Ranging between body building, classic physique, physique, fitness and bikini competitions, the number of competitors and age ranges can make one’s head spin. More importantly, it often inspires those in the audience to
“We have folks that exercise and work out in the gym,” said Algeo “And they’re in the audience and see a competitor similar to them up on stage… and they go ‘I can do that… I need a year, but I can do that…’ and they commit and say ‘I’m going to do the Northern Classic next October.’ We’ve had folks who have won overalls and have said the only reason they were there was because they were in that audience and believed that they could do it… and they went and did it.”
It’s clearly a passion that drives Algeo to put the effort into the Northern Classic that he and his team of volunteers roll out every year. One thing Algeo is also passionate about is paying his respects to first responders and the men and women of the armed services. This year’s event was kicked off by a special presentation that brought up every single first responder to the stage and a medal was put around their necks as a show of love and thanks for all that they do. The response from the crowd not only moved those being honored, but it cemented the ceremony as something that will be repeated at future Northern Classics.
“To see these folks walking around with these medals, with smiles on their faces, was something else,” said Algeo. “It really meant something to them.”
Ryan Vancleave captured both the Light Heavyweight title, as well as the Overall Men’s body building championship. John Clynch took home the Master’s Division trophy, as well as the Masters 50-plus crown. Jeff Spaulding won the Middleweight Division, while Ernie Erickson won the Masters 60-plus, with Jason Johnson winning the Masters 40-plus.
Tony Manzo won the Men’s “B” Division Physique title, as well as the Overall Men’s Physique Crown. Enrique Rios took home the Masters championship, as well as the Masters 40-plus crown. Jason Marquez captured the first-year Classic Physique category win. Ben Tronson won the Men’s “C” Division Physique title, with Vladimir Borisov taking the “D” title. Edwin Moya won the Masters 35-plus. Jose Dias won the Novice Division.
Brittany Conley captured the overall Figure Division, as well as the “C” Division title. The Masters overall winner was Sara Michelle Taschner, who also won the Masters 40-plus title. Lainey Kimball took home the Junior Fitness Division crown. Rachael Chiarelli won the overall Bikini title, as well as the “A” Division championship. Rebecca Bales took home the overall Masters division title, as well as the Masters 35-plus crown.
Published in: Tacoma Weekly