Muscular Development, Vol 8, No 12, Page 16, December 1971


By Clay Patterson

THE MR. U.S.A. competition has come and gone and, no doubt, some of the contestants are still wondering why they didn't do somewhat better in the judging. However, as in any contest, some win, some lose and some don't even show up.

Post-contest opinion of some of the competitors was rather ,Strong; each felt that he should have placed higher than he did. Only one point of the latenight contest was evident to all; the winner. Newcomer Steven Michalik astounded the audience and competitors alike with his terrific V-shape symmetry, sharp muscularity and overall poise and ability on the platform. The talented young commerical artist from New York City, took second place in the Jr. Mr. U.S.A. contest in Paterson, New Jersey, only three weeks earlier.

Although the unanimous decision by the judges would indicate a resounding victory, the contest was by no means a runaway. Veteran Bill St. John made a strong showing and placed second only seven points behind the winner. This amiable giant from Glassboro, New Jersey, is a ruggedly powerful-looking individual who is an athlete in the truest form.

Behind St. John were Carl Smith, 3rd; Gene Massey, 4th; and Dan Howard, a newcomer to the national scene, 5th.

The spaciousness of the beautiful Bronco Bowl Auditorium in Dallas, Texas, seemed to dwarf the stage and almost 600 weary spectators as the contest began after II P.M. The lineup on only eleven contestants was presented to the audience in a group and it was readily apparent 'that the twenty-two year old Michalik was the crowd favorite. Singly, the competitors returned to the platform to perform. Although the audience responded with applause on nearly every pose, even the sturdy walls of the huge Bronco Bowl seemed in danger of collapsing from the thunderous ovation for the performances of Michalik, Smith and St. John.

The 5' 10", 210 lb. athlete from New York again led the way in the Most Muscular Man contest by garnering first place support from four of the five judges with the other going to St. J ohn. It was Michalik, first; St. John, second; Massey, third; Tom Mertes, fourth; and Ell Darden, fifth.

Ralph Countryman ably coordinated the contest while Clay Patterson emceed the events. The contest judges were: Peary Rader, Alliance, Nebraska; Clay Patterson, Port Arthur, Texas; Joe Paul, Chicago, Illinois; Cecil Kennedy, Denton, Texas; and Jack Johnson, Tulsa, Okla.

Steven Michalik
New York, N.Y.
Bill St. John
Glassboro, N.J.
Carl Smith
Louisville, Ky.
Gene Massey
Hollywood, Fla.
Dan Howard
Tulsa, Okla.
Ellington Darden
Tallahassee, Fla.
Joe Tete
Florence, N.J.
Nick Spano
Columbus, Ga.
Tom Mertes
Minneapolis, Min.
Mike Gonzales
San Antonio, Tx.
Mike Moguin
Tulsa, Okla.

The contestants in order of finish, with judges points, were: [see box at right]

The following is a short description of each of the competitors as he appeared before the judges and as he was called out in front of the audience.

ELLINGTON DARDEN, 27, 5' 11 ", 205. Improved muscularity and definition moved this young man from an eleventh place finish in 1970 to sixth place in 1971. Having recently completed his doctorate in Physical Education at Florida State University, Ell should now be able to devote more time to training for even greater results. While possessing a fine symmetrical-physique, he needs to add more muscular size and definition if he is to reach the top. Originally from Conroe, Texas, Ell plans to continue his research work in Florida where he has received wide acclaim for his theories in "mud training".

MIKE GONZALES, 32, 5'10", 198, A classic performer, with a fine overall physique, but lacking size in individual body parts. A mechanical engineer and a father of three, Mike finds it hard to devote the time necessary' to become a contender. Increased size and definition would be necessary for Mike to move up next year.

DAN HOWARD, 30, 6'3", 241. Considering the difficulties this man has encountered, he has to be one of the most surprising and improved bodybuilders around. Older than most of his competition, Dan also keeps a very rigorous schedule as trainer and therapist for the Tulsa Universtiy football team. Dan's training sometimes comes at strange hours and it should also be remembered that it takes a lot of muscle to cover a frame of his size. Dan finished only one point behind Massey to show that he almost has enough. More leg definition and some posing practice would make him hard to beat.

GENE MASSEY, 22, 6'0", 218. Despite his veteran status on the national scene, Gene is still very young and has a great future ahead of him. He is currently hampered by lack of overall development to match his massive arms and chest. Gene plans to enter the health foods business upon completion of college and maintains some very interesting theories on the subject.

TOM MERTES, 22, 6'0", 185. With only ten months of training behind him, Tom was impressive enough to receive the strong support of Judge Peary Rader for better things to come. Still somewhat light and needing a great deal of practice on his posing, another year of training could turn fine potential into reality for Tom. He is a cadillac mechanic, is married, and has one daughter.

STEVEN MICHALIK, 22, 5'10", 210. This young man should rank as the number one contender for the Mr. America crown next summer. While having trained for several years at the encouragement of his father, he is still relatively new on the competition scene; but with continued improvement, could conceivably be one of the greats.

CARL SMITH, 25, 5'10", 210. Restricted by his job as an Apartment complex manager, Carl has still managed to improve over his 1970 Jr. Mr. U.S.A. victory. Carl's progress should pick up and put him in strong contention in the coming years. Having recently completed studies in student personnel management, Carl plans to return to the education field and should have more time to train. he is married and the father of a pretty young daughter.

NICK SPANO, 29, 5'9", 180. Excellent muscularity, fine symmetry, and poised presentation, might be some of the adjectives used to describe this doctoral student from Auburn University. This fine competitor with the deep southern brogue, seems only to be hampered by the tendencies of the judges to look for the larger, more powerfully muscular individual. While he already possesses a tremendous physique, heavier trainign in the legs and shoulders might be to his benefit.

BILL ST. JOHN, 27, 5'10", 224. If it can be imagined, Bill is even larger and more muscular than last year, yet this could be a definite hindrance. While he is one of the best in muscularity and platform presentation, he did not score as well as he should in symmetry. Possibly his very shapely but quite thick middle is his nemesis. At any rate, with careful training, the illusive national titles shouldn't be too far out of grasp in the next year or two.

JOE TETE, 28, 6'1", 212, Joe, a masters degree student at Rider College in Trenton, New Jersey, made a good enough showing to be ranked fifth by three of the five judges. He needs only to pack more muscle on his rangy frame to become a contender, as well as more practice and experience on his posing routine. It would seem that mere time and training would be the answer in moving this good-looking bachelor up the line.

MIKE MOGUIN, 29, 5'6", 170. After several years as a successful powerlifter, Mike has turned to bodybuilding, and while having good size, needs much more work on definitio and posing presentation. Married, with two children, Mike is a salesman for a tobacco company.


- 1971 Mr. U.S.A. Steve Michalik of New York City

- Runner-up Bill St. John of Glassboro, N.J.

- Carl Smith of Louisville, Ky, 3rd

- Gene Massey of Hollywood, Fla., 4th

- Dan Howard of Tulsa, Okla., 5th

- Ell Darden of Tallahassee, Fla., 6th

- Joe Tete of Florence, N.J., 7th

- Nick Spano of Atlanta, Ga., 8th

- Tom Mertes of Minneapolis, Minn., 9th

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