Muscle Builder, Vol 17, Num 8, Page 64, November 1976
Philadelphia - Kalman Szkalak, a virtual unknown out of Gold's Gym in Venice, California, copped his height class and two body part awards to soar above more experienced and better-known competition to win the 1976 AAU Mr. America contest before a small and spiritless crowd.
After displaying stunning size coupled with good proportion to make a seemingly-effortless sweep of the tall class, Szkalak kept favorite Dave Johns and Clint Beyerle to second and third respectively when the ballots were in following a gruelling posedown in the overall competition.
Despite poor lighting, used for the previous weightlifting meet, and a general lacklustre flavor to the whole event, several athletes out of the field of 24 looked incredibly sharp and managed to stir the taciturn audience.
Coming off of a neck injury suffered in a car accident that only hampered contest training, Pat Neve actually improved over his striking form of last year. With a greater accent on his legs, Neve put it all together to win the short class.
Last year's Teenage Mr. America Roland Teufel was a crowd pleaser in gaining second place. Spiralling improvement has this man ticketed to be a contender next year.
Tom Platz, on the smooth side, earned third place.
Favorite Dave Johns disbanded all opponents with his well-honed mass in winning the class. There was contention from the slashed-to-ribbons Joe Means who placed second, but Johns' muscle size qualmed the rush. Fred Shandor took third place in a fight which could have justly gone to either Bob Gallucci or Rich Baldwin.
Only six contestants here, and it was all Szkalak, who was promptly dubbed "Kal the Unpronounceable." Clint Beyerle, looking smaller and less-defined than his strong showing of last year, managed only a mild challenge to the awesome bulk of Szkalak. Dusty Caldwell rated third.
Best Abs - Teufel easily bagged this award with his closest competition coming from Neve and Means.
Best Arms - Szkalak put the guns to Johns and Neve and came up a big winner.
Best Back - Probably the strongest bodypart of the Szkalak physique. Once again an easy victory over Johns and Neve.
Best Legs - The size of several entrants couldn't deal with Means' extreme separation and definition. Beyerle and Johns proved to be the closest competitors.
Most Muscular - As the finalists were announced, Johns fifth...Beyerle fourth...Neve third... Szkalak runner-up, the crowd buzzed to the anticipation that young Teufel would win the most muscular. However Means, in all his striated splendor, won over the judges. There was the belief amongst some observers that despite his terrific cuts, Means lacked mass and density.
- WINNER In only his third contest, Kal Szkalak came through with flying colors to dominate a more-experienced field.
- BEST ARMS Szkalak's 20-inch arms proved too much for the equally-impressive Dave Johns (left) and Pat Neve.
- BEST LEGS Extreme definition and separation of Joe Means (center) kept the more-massive legs of Clint Beyerle (left) and Dave Johns from copping this competition.
- BEST CHEST As big as a keg and oft compared to Schwarzenegger, Szkalak's chest kept Johns and Neve as runners-up again.
- BEST ABS Crowd pleaser Ron Teufel (center) topped rugged competition in Means and Neve to win the Best Abs showdown. Always a tough one to pick.
- MOST MUSCULAR In what many consider an upset, Joe Means (center) beat more massive opponents for the Most Muscular honors. From left - Johns, Szkalak, Neve and Beyerle.
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