Northern Classic draws sellout crowd

You couldn't find an empty seat in the house on Saturday night at the North Peace Cultural Centre and the capacity crowd was treated to a rare viewing opportunity in the Peace Region.

The 13th annual Northern Classic Bodybuilding and Fitness Show took control of the theatre and some of the lobby throughout the day on Saturday as more than 150 bodybuilders and fitness models showed off their bodies.

Owner of Today's Techniques and organizer Jeni Briscoe wasn't surprised with the capacity crowd or their genuine interest in the competition, something she has seen since the event started here with only 17 competitors.

"I was really happy," Briscoe explained. "Our first year we had 17 people and we still sold out. We always sell out. Bodybuilding always has a stigma, so now it's a little bit more open with the bikini and the men's physique. People are understanding a little bit better."

Briscoe also noted that from her gym alone there were six people who took home trophies and she speculated that a few more from other gyms in town also took home awards.

Ali Najafian, who was the overall champion in the Men's Bodybuilding competition was surprised they could hold such a big show in this region.

"I am so happy, this is small city but they put on a very cool event. They are so friendly," the 32 year-old long time bodybuilder said. "I was impressed, the back of stage, the pumping room it was all awesome."

Najafian won the overall show, as well as the heavyweight division with a little bit of controversy, Briscoe explained that his very natural look helped him edge out the more muscular competitor.

"He looked amazing. That was the only class that people thought maybe the bigger guy should of won. Ali had such a natural bodybuilder look and he was just so fluid and his posing was so good," she said.

He was initially shocked when he heard the decision, but was happy the judges liked what he had to offer.

"It's amazing. I couldn't guess because they [the competitors] were big guys. They were like 30 or 40 pounds heavier than me. But the judges showed me they were looking for something else, like symmetry, equality. I'm super excited," he said.

The North Vancouver resident competed in bodybuilding in his native Iran, and when he came to Canada two years ago, hoped to continue his training.

"Originally I'm a classic bodybuilder. I got third in the world in 2010, in a contest in Budapest, Hungary. I came to Canada in 2012 and I was hoping to do it again. So I did this competition and I am going to do one in Winnipeg, classic bodybuilding and then the world's next year," Najafian said.

Andrea Petersen, who came fourth in the master's bikini competition, explained the rigors of training in order to prepare for an event like the Northern Classic.

"It's been 16 weeks of eating rice and vegetables, cardio six days a week, working a job having two children and trying to stay positive," she explained.

Briscoe still hopes she can grow the event when it comes back to town for the 14th time, but with no more seating capacity in the theatre she isn't sure it's possible.

"I'm super happy with how it went. And people said they are coming back. We had a busload of people from the Yukon and they said they are coming back," Briscoe noted. "I just wish we had a bigger theatre We looked at the Pomeroy, they can fit 600 people but there is no place to put the athletes."

Briscoe was sure of one thing with the amount of support she received; the event will undoubtedly be back in Fort St. John for the 14th time next year.

Below are the full results from the 2014 Northern Classic Bodybuilding and Fitness Show in Fort St. John:

Women's Bodybuilding
1. Tanja McPherson
1. Tanja McPherson
2. Crystal Coulombe

Men's Bodybuilding

Grand Master Men
1. JesseSanta Cruz
2. Jim Richter

LW Men
1. Dane Makuch
2. Jesse Santa Cruz

MW Men
1. Jordan Daniels
2. Kyle Jones

1. Ali Najafian
2. Riley Chambers
3. Nawzad Palani
4. Clint Holowaty
5. Ullie Krack
6. Kyle Engelmyer
7. Taylor Stefansson

HW Men
1. Tyler Witthoeft
2. Trevor Koehler
3. Todd Hamilton
4. Mark Becker
5. Scott McMillan
6. Craig Bennett
7. Rob Stirling

Ali Najafian

Women's Physique

1. Donna Svisdahl
2. Rose Mallet
3. Patty Nixon

1. Charis Whittington
2. Karley Green
3. Jaimie Friesen
4. Elisabeth MacKay
5. Jill Foley
6. Chanelle Pringle


1. Samantha Barbera
2. Corinne Nearing
3. Kathy Gelmon
4. Heather Clarke
5. Marianne Phelps
6. Carolynn Phelps
7. Monica Bruns
8. Joan Sopow
9. Lee Somerton

Master Figure
1. Claudia Lailhacar
2. Mary Ann MacGillivray
3. Tanya Chartrand
4. Jo-AnnHuber
5. Brigitte MacNamara
6. Melinda Fercho
7. Tracy Sheepwash
8. Michele Fleming

Figure Short
1. Shylah Dobbin
2. Jacqueline Solomon
3. Tammy Tolmie
4. Ashley Robertson
5. Deidre Bailey
6. Lindsay Ronahan
7. Becky Grimsrud

Figure Tall
1. Denean Arntson
2. Thea Dennis
3. Mikayla Custance
4. Kascha Collins
5. Jami Yendrys
6. Anna Bol
7. Sara Galbraith
8. Emil yPalfy

Denean Arntson

Men's Physique

1. Joe Erickson
2. Bob Cripps
3. Troy Zohner

1. Nathaniel Werner
2. Jake Saunders
3. Tarun Patel
4. Joban Badyal
5. Mike Jacuk
6. Mike Lazara
7. Thomas Bone
8. Tyler Turcotte
9. Hamed Roshenas
10. Cody Morrison
11. David Miao
1. Alex Scott
2. Harry Johal
3. Sheldon Ewert
4. RileyMcFarland
5. Rayan Ghadimi
6. Alex Milonas
7. Jay Lendvoy
8. Jason Keller
9. Peter Johns
10. John Morin
11. Michael Ranosz

Nathaniel Werner


1. Fawn Lavonne
2. Marlene Long
3. Karen Cole
4. Andrea Petersen
5. Lisa Linteris
6. Rhea Mandapat
7. Andrea Rogers-Bell
8. Sharon Wlaswich
9. Mirela Pilas-Simoni

1. Chrystal Jones
2. Marina Wojtczak
3. Amanda Bazett
4. Carsen Gray
5. Heather Palfenier
6. Brandee Stewart
7. Sherina Chandra
8. Marissa Leriger
9. Stacey Lumley
10. Victoria Banas
11. Stefanie Oestreic
12. Nicole Spidle
DISQ-Kristine Alba
DISQ-Hailey Edwards

1. Sandeep Sira
2. Samantha Scigliano
3. Crystal Petrie
4. Jen Harrison
5. Serena Baccante
6. Jennifer Randall
7. Shannon Novak
8. Justine Rogers
9. Lindsay Rae
10. Chelsea Marie Cullen
11. Alex Daniels
12. Kendra Willems
13. Augustina Caron
14. Samantha Dawson
15. Marina Deveiteo

1. LeanneMcFarland
2. Autumn Baker
3. Kristin Hazzard
4. Sarah Begley
5. Lindsay O'hara
6. Hadieh Kaeni
7. Kayla McColl
8. Ashley Vig
9. Tallea Potozny
10. Rebecca Gaetz

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