IronMan, Vol 27, No 6, Page 34, September 1968
THE pre-judging in the Mr. America contest lasted about six hours, with interviews, judges' decisions, posing, selection of winners in body parts, and pointing for the Mr. America portion. And it was still difficult to give all 27 contestants the consideration that was their due after the years of training and months of preparation it takes to get to this point. The quality was even better than last year's which had set a high mark, and the quantity was a great improvement from last year's 14. Although the judges have an obligation to screen and eliminate during the pre-judging any contestant they feel does not measure up to Mr. America caliber, not once did the question arise. All of these men belonged and 75% were exceptionally good. Problems the judges had.
Because all activities were halted during the Sunday morning period of mourning for Senator Kennedy, the National Weightlifting Committee had not met and would not have a chance to do so. Accordingly, the judges panel used part of their time to discuss proposed changes in the Mr. America requirements and in physique contests in general. Former National Weightlifting Chairman Don Haley is drafting a proposal regarding athletic prerequisites that reflected the consensus. This concerns the use of certain standard physical fitness tests as at least an additional means of establishing athletic points and perhaps eventually using it and weightlifting exclusively. Tests could be administered before the panel or even prior to coming to the meet site by a qualified Association panel. Consideration and discussion was also given to the point method. The general feeling was that it is not too satisfactory but alternatives would have to be developed gradually.
During interview it became apparent that the top contenders weren't going to falter because of too few athletic points. The first 13 men all had a full five points. Only three men would have moved up if they had had a full five instead of what they did receive, and the top dozen men would not have been affected by any such changes. So that factor which has hurt some good men in the past had no effect in this contest.
Once again there were some standouts during interviews, but more satisfying was the fact that no one really hurt himself in this phase of the judging. Because of the number of men to be interviewed and the time limitation, though it wasn't possible to spend as much time with each man as the judges would have liked. The allotted time was barely enough for the essentials and perhaps one question demanding a thoughtful but quick reply.
In the order of their appearance before the judges and later the audience:
LOU KUSHNER is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia with a physical education major. He is currently a playground supervisor and finds that his competition in physique contests is a good example to the boys he works with in the city. He stated frankly that he didn't expect to win. Lou was currently engaged in publicity for the Teenage Mr. America contest to be held later in the month in Philadelphia. His sports have included long distance running, cross country, power lifting, and (according to one of my indecipherable and therefore questionable notes) gymnastics. Lou is 26 and a bachelor, and seemed at ease during the interview.
VINCE ANELLO is currently a junior at Baldwin-Wallace in Cleveland, majoring in physical education, and hopes to be a teacher. His sports include wrestling and football. The latter introduced him to weights and he has done some power lifting (a 1290 total as a lightheavy). He is interested in self-hypnosis and finds it has helped his concentration in both studies and athletics. His other sports interests include bowling and tennis. Vince is 20 and was a finalist in last year's Teenage Mr. America.
ROBERT MOORE of Nashville works for the Tennessee Fish and Game Commission. He is 25 and married, and has been bodybuilding about five years. He started because he lost a chance at an athletic scholarship to college due to his lack of size (he weighed 145 in high school). He succeeded, as he is about 200 now. His sports were primarily track and field, with a 10 flat 100 yard dash his best effort. He was the 1967 Mr. Tennessee and fifth in this year's Junior Mr. America. Maybe the best evidence of the quality of this year's competition is that such a fine build as his ranked no better than fifteenth.
BILL ST. JOHN is tremendously improved since his last appearance in a Mr. America contest two years ago. He works in the ordnance section of Philadelphia's Naval Shipyard and is 25 and single. He began working out five years ago when inspired by Val Vasilieff, Mr. America of 1964, a friend and neighbor. Hill was high school state champion in wrestling in New Jersey at 175 and has made 740 in Olympic lifting as a lightheavy. He now weighs 208 of hard, thick muscle, with especially deep abdominals. He has two years of college in electronics.
WILLIAM GRANT of Morristown, New Jersey is 21. He was a miler in high school as a 110 pounder. He has been working out for eight years starting with a high school friend. He works as a detail draftsman but was a physical education major while attending college. He is married with one child.
GIL HANSEN is a man I find it easy to admire. He's accustomed to speaking before groups and this is one of the reasons he comes across so well in interview. He's always neat, pleasant, courteous, clear and complete. But he deserves praise as well for his achievements. He holds all the Iowa state records in Olympic and power lifting in the midheavyweight class and holds a third degree black belt in judo, a sport which he teaches in the 130-man police department in Waterloo. He is the police liaison officer to the schools there. He is 31, married, and has two children; his nine year old boy accompanied him on this trip. After seven years in this sport he is in top condition, rugged and hard, and always a finalist.
MELVIN MERIWEATHER was competing in his second Mr. America contest. He is a millwright in Portage, Indiana but lives nearby in Michigan City. He is 30, married and has three children. He's another community-conscious man, active in his church and president of a P-TA group. He played football in high school and has done power lifting in the five years he's been working out. He's built up from a school weight of 160 to the present 200.
DENNIS YAKLICH was in his first national meet. He's a farmer in Avondale, Colorado, near Pueblo in the plains area. He had to drop college and give full time to farming when his father was injured. He is 20, 6-4, and weighs 225 (up from 173). His farm chores gave him no time for school sports, and he's tried only power lifting since taking up bodybuilding after attending his first physique contest 2½ years ago. Dennis has very good symmetry for a tall man and shows a fine potential, but there is a lot of hard work ahead of him.
DAN MILES of Southgate, Michigan, was not well known to the judges, but he made a deep impression with his well defined, muscular body. He is a crane operator for Great Lakes Steel, is 27 and married. At 180 he has been studio training for three years. After high school football his only sport has been sky diving while in the Army Airborne Infantry. Dan should be heard from again if he stays with it, as he has a wonderful start and great potential.
KEN WALLER of Jeffersonville, Indiana had definitely been heard from with his great impression at the YMCA Nationals, but most of the judges had not seen him in person. He is truly impressive. The most impressive thing about him, though, was his statement that he has been bodybuilding for only six months. Even though he won the Mr. Kentucky title in 1965, he said that it is part natural and part the steady weight training he practiced for football from high school on. Weight training or bodybuilding, it certainly works. He's 6 feet and weighs 220 pounds of hard, well shaped, dense muscle. In football, he was captain and all conference end on the Bowling Green team of 1964 which played in the Tangerine Bowl. Ken is single and a high school teacher in Louisville. If he chooses to stay with it, he could take it all in the next couple of years.
DR. CRAIG WHITEHEAD is now stationed at MacDill AFB in Tampa as a flight surgeon. He has seven years in the Air Force and is a major. He has a long history in the lifting-bodybuilding sports which have been detailed often. He has done research and papers on phases of training, the kind of person who would add luster to the title of Mr. America rather than borrowing glory from it. But at 33 it seems the muscles aren't as hard though the shape and size remain and the posing is as effective as ever.
LARRY GORDON was another surprise to most of the judges, the surprise being that men like him and Miles have reached top shape and belong in national meets and yet have received virtually no national exposure or coverage for contests they have entered. He is studying at the University of Iowa for his PhD in psychology. He's originally from Florida where he got his bachelors in physics. He played tennis in high school and played around with weights for seven or eight years; but it wasn't until four years ago that he turned to serious training, deciding that he was out of shape.
WILL WHITAKER is no surprise as his fame is widespread and justified. Everyone knew how good he was last year. Unfortunately he didn't have quite the finish he displayed in Columbus. Will is still working toward his degree in physical therapy in Chattanooga. He was an all around athlete in high school and service, making the All-Army team in football. He is 28 and single.
TOMMY JOHNSON is a rare man indeed and was quite a hit with the judges, partly for his own pleasant personality, partly because of his wife, Judy. Tommy is a deaf-mute and has been since he was two when a viral disease destroyed his mastoid nerve. That didn't stop him from being a top athlete, discus thrower, and a silver medal winner in both Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling in the Deaf Olympics at Helsinki. He has five years of college and is presently a linotype operator for the Columbus Dispatch where he also is a volunteer instructor at the YMCA. All of this was eloquently presented by Mrs. Johnson with hand comments by Tommy, interpreted by her, and it had the judges wondering how they could bend the rules to recognize the influence of a good wife.
BOYER COE is another bodybuilder of national repute who needs no further introduction. Except that this was the latest edition of a man who continues to show amazing improvement each year. Last year I had predicted that Haislop had to be the favorite this year. After seeing Coe, I changed my mind. Last year I thought he was exceptional and deserved higher ranking; in this case I didn't change my mind unless it's to say that he's better than exceptional. I don't see how he can improve much more; there must be a limit. But if the last couple years are good evidence, he'll find the limit and probably exceed that too. Boyer is now a senior at Southwestern Louisiana but has changed his major from medicine to personnel management.
DAVID UPSON of Philadelphia was making his first Mr. America appearance. He's originally from South Carolina where he played football and ran the 100 yard dash in high school. He's 27, married, and works as a barber. He has been working out for six years.
CHARLES COLLRAS is notable for the extreme definition he has managed to maintain at the advanced bodybuilding age of 36. He is the current Mr. California, is married, and has two children. He's an electrical technician in motion picture and TV work. He was all state in high school gymnastics in Reading, Pennsylvania, and continues actively in that sport in beach contests as well as in physical fitness meets in Los Angeles. He is the California State power lifting champion in the lightweight class.
JIM HAISLOP is another famous name in the sport. While he hasn't shown the improvement during this year that he showed in last year's contest, there was less room for improvement. He is still incredibly symmetrical with shapely muscle and good bulk and pleasing definition. Jim works for the General Telephone Company in Tampa but aspires to an acting career. He is 26, and single, but engaged.
CHRIS DICKERSON joins Coe and St. John as most improved competitor. Chris has been active in lifting this past year and succeeded in picking up his five athletic points. But nothing else suffered because of this preoccupation. His legs are still great, and the fact that Coe beat him out in this category only shows how much Coe has improved. The fact that Chris took Whitaker and Coe in the Best Chest category shows the improvement that he has made in his torso. His lats are noticeably better and his arms much improved. Next year, the judges will have a miserable time choosing among the men mentioned above, Waller, and the inevitable dark horse. As always Dickerson comes across well in interview; he's easy-mannered, has a well-modulated voice, uses good diction and speaks in complete sentences with good phrasing. He's a great asset to the sport. He works as a reservations agent for an airline but keeps weekends free for posing exhibitions, talks and spreading the gospel on health to boys and young men.
CURT HAYWOOD made his second appearance in a Mr. America contest. His first came last year when he furnished the muscles that were used in adjusting the posing light at Columbus. He was pretty good then, but he's a lot better now. Curt is 27, married, and has two children. He works for Timken Roller Bearing. He fishes, hunts, rides (motorcycles and horses). and is a volunteer YMCA instructor. He impresses as a big man but weighs only 185. He was on a top Marine Corps football team and was all city fullback in high school along with track (440) and field (pole vault). Curt was another unflappable with a pleasant, easy manner and a contagious smile.
GENE KUCZINSKI from Baltimore is currently in the Navy working in electronics in a helicopter squadron at Norfolk. He is 24 and single and got top athletic points for his swimming achievements. He will be remembered for his gold statue posing in the 1966 Mr. America contest. He's on the smooth side but has excellent shape and symmetry.
JAMES MORRIS, another outstanding man who made perhaps the best presentation of himself during an interview (and there were some excellent ones). He is a New York City fireman. He was studying architectural drawing at Pratt Institute, but his mother insisted that he take the fireman test. He did reluctantly, got the job, and has never regretted it. He relishes the chances he gets to help others in need and carries this into his volunteer work at the Central Queens YMCA. He is 32 and single and did his service tour in the Air Force. He got full athletic points for Olympic lifting.
JAMES HANDLEY of Baltimore is also a fireman. He is 23, married. and has been working out for seven years, weighing 113 when he started. He has top athletic points for high school and college wrestling. He did his national service in the Army. Like his fellow Baltimorean, Kuczinski, he tends to the smooth side with excellent shape and symmetry.
PEARSON HINKLE was the local entry. He is a solid chunk of muscle but doesn't have the cuts or hardness to go with his mass. He plays softball and in high school he took up weights to help him in soccer, baseball and basketball, but he didn't turn serious about his workouts until 1963 when he was 24 and started working out with Vern Weaver.
WILLIAM COLLINS of Washington. D. C., is an Olympic and power lifter. He is married, has a son, and has worked out for twelve years. He is a volunteer instructor at the YMCA and a Post Office employee. He is no stranger to national competition in all phases of the sport.
OSCAR HUDSON is from Atlanta. He is 25 and single and has worked out five years. He has two years at Davis College and works as an assemblyman for a refrigeration company.
KEN COVINGTON was the last entry (in on time but too late for the program) and a welcome one. He had an infectious humor about him that almost had the judges participating in the Covington Laugh-In. At 19 he was the youngest man in the contest and one of the most muscular. He is a meat cutting apprentice at a beef company. He has lifted and also runs dashes and cross country. He shows plenty of definition and enough bulk. With the fine 4½ year start he has in work outs. he should do well in future contests..
The presentation of the competitors to the audience followed the usual procedure of introduction of all contestants (it had to be in groups) followed by individual posing with a minute time limit on the routine. This was followed by presentation of awards to the winners of the best parts, the selection of most muscular, selection of finalists and finally the Mr. America awards. The selection of Haislop was hotly disputed by the muscle-conscious audience who had picked Coe as their favorite. Not that Haislop was without supporters. But his type of build and good looks appeals more to the general public, and this particular audience was highly knowledgeable in the weightlifting game. My own feeling is that there were several Mr. Americas on that stage and future years will prove it. Presentation of the Mr. America trophy was made by his predecessor, Dennis Tinerino, who had earlier told the crowd of his year as Mr. America and the profound effect it had had on his life and the honor he'd felt by representing the sport and even his country in contests and posing appearances (over 100 altogether). Tinerino's will be a difficult act to follow.
Judges (1) Charles Gschwind, Ohio Assn. (2) Joe Paul, Central Assn. (3) Colon McMath. Virginia Assn. (4) Bob Bendel, Middle Atlantic Assn. (5) Len Bosland. New Jersey Assn. (6) Ralph Countryman, Pacific Assn. (7) Don Haley, Southern Pacific Assn. Chairman: Bob Crist, Virginia Assn.
Each judge selected the men he wished to consider for this title. The ten receiving the most requests were once again asked to pose and to appear together for a final selection of each judges top five places. The final ten are indicated with an *. The votes for the men to be considered: Seven votes--St. John*, Coe*, Dickerson; Six votes--Hansen*, Collras*; Five votes--Waller*, Whitaker*, Haislop*, Covington; Four votes--Miles*; One vote--Moore.
Each judge placed his top five men; these placements were converted to points on a 6-4-3-2-1 basis. The places and final scoring:
|1||Coe (5 1sts, 1 2nd, 1 5th)||35|
|2||Collras (l 1st, 4 2nds, 1 4th)||24|
|3||Dickerson (1 2nd, 3 3rds)||13|
|4||Covington (1 2nd, 1 3rd, 1 4th, 1 5th)||10|
|5||Hansen (1 1st, 1 4th, 1 5th)||9|
|6||St. John (3 4ths, 2 5ths)||8|
|7||Waller (2 3rds, 1 5th)||7|
|8||Haislop (1 3rd, 1 4th, 1 5th)||6|
|9||Miles & Whitaker tied||(no placements)|
BEST MUSCLE PARTS
The same basis for final consideration. Each judge selected not more than five men whom he wished to consider for each of the parts. The five men receiving the most votes were brought back for a second sighting. Each man in the contest was considered at least once in each of these categories. Finally each judge selected the one man he felt deserved the award. The finalists are indicated *.
BEST ARMS --
Seven votes--Coe*; Six votes--Hansen, Waller*, Covington*; Four votes--Miles*; Three votes--St. John, Dickerson; Two votes--Upson, Collras; One vote--Grant, Whitaker.
1 Coe--six votes; 2 Waller-one vote.
BEST CHEST --
Seven votes--Coe*, Dickerson*; Five votes --Waller*; Three votes--Hansen*, Collras*, Haislop*; Two votes--St. John, Whitaker, Morris; One vote--Grant, Kuczinski, Covington.
1 Dickerson--three votes. 2 Coe--two votes. 3 Waller, Haislop-one vote each.
BEST BACK --
Seven votes--Dickerson*; Six votes--Coe*; Five votes--Collras*; Three votes--St. John*, Grant*, Haislop*; Two votes--Hansen, Miles, Morris, Covington.
1 Coe--two votes; 2 Tie with one vote each-St. John, Grant, Collras, Haislop, Dickerson.
BEST LEGS --
Six votes--Coe*, Haislop*, Dickerson*; Five votes--Waller*, Whitaker*; Three votesSt. John; One vote--Moore, Hansen, Miles, Collras, Haywood.
1 Coe--five votes; 2 Tie with one vote each--Haislop, Dickerson.
BEST ABDOMINALS --
Six votes--St. John*; Five votes--Collras*; Four votes--Haislop*, Covington*; Three votes--Miles*; Two votes--Morris; One vote--Grant, Meriweather, Whitaker, Johnson, Dickerson.
1 Collras-four votes; 2 St. John--three votes.
|Name (Progam No.)||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||Mid 5|
|James Haislop (20)||15||15||12½||14||14||70½||5||75½||1|
|Boyer Coe (16)||13½||14½||13||14½||13||68½||5||731½||2|
|Chris Dickerson (22)||15||13||14½||14||11½||68||5||73||3|
|Ken Waller (11)||14||11½||14||11½||13½||64½||5||69½||4|
|Charles Collras (18)||13||11½||12½||12||12½||61½||5||66½||5|
|Bill St. John (5)||12||13||12||13||11||61||5||66||6|
|Gilbert Hansen (7)||14||13||10||13||11||61||5||66||7|
|Will Whitaker (14)||13||12||11½||13||11||60½||5||65½||8|
|Craig Whitehead (12)||10||11||12||11||13½||57½||5||62½||9|
|James Morris (25)||11||11||11½||11||12||56½||5||61½||10|
|Tommy Johnson (15)||10||12||12||11½||9½||55||5||60||11|
|Curt Haywood (23)||11||11||12||10||10||54||5||59||12|
|Eugene Kuczinski (24)||9||12||12½||9½||10½||53½||5||58½||13|
|Ken Covington (30)||11||10||12||10½||10½||54||3||57||14|
|Bob Moore (4)||10||11||9½||11||10||51½||4||55½||15|
|Dan Miles (10)||9||10½||12||11||9||51½||2||53½||16|
|William Grant (6)||10||11||9||9½||10||49½||2||51½||17|
|James Handley (26)||8||9||11||9||9½||46½||5||51½||18|
|Larry Gordon (13)||12||10½||8||10½||8||49||2||51||19|
|Dennis Yaklich (9)||10||10||10||9||10||49||2||51||20|
|William Collins (28)||9||9||9½||9½||8½||45½||5||50½||21|
|Melvin Meriweather (8)||10||8||10||9½||7½||45||3||48||22|
|David Upson (17)||9||8||10||9½||9||45½||2||47½||23|
|Vince Anello (2)||10||9||8½||8||9||44½||2||46½||24|
|Pearson Hinkle (27)||7||10||9||8½||8½||43||2||45||25|
|Oscar Hudson (29)||9||9||9||6||7||40||2||42||26|
|Lou Kushner (1)||7||9½||7||6||7||36½||2||38½||27|
- James Haislop, the new Mr. America, has the broad shoulders and trim hips so popular with the general public. He will, with his blond good looks and pleasing personality, be a popular Mr. America for 1968.
- Boyer Coe has size and muscularity that is beyond description. he is just fabulous and takes his place along with the greats of our time. he should do well in the Mr. Universe contest. He won the Most Muscular in addition to the second place in the Mr. America contest, and also best arms and best back, besides best legs.
- Chris Dickerson was in thrid place with a terrific physique and won the best chest title.
- Ken Waller was in 4th place and should do better wehn he developes a better posing routine.
- Collras was in 5th place and won best abdominals, and why wouldn't he? Photo by Countryman. We have a lot more photos for next issue, of all the boys.
- Here are the place winners as they posed for the audience. From left to right they are: Waller, Coe, Haislop, Dickerson and Collras.
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