Strength & Health, Page 18, September 1968


by Bill Starr

On Sunday evening, June 8th, twenty seven contestants mounted the posing platform at the William Penn High School Auditorium to vie for the coveted Mr. America Title. As the audience got their first look at the men it was obvious that it was going to be a battle between last year's runner-up, Jim Haislop, and Boyer Coe, a fifth place finisher in 1967. They were very evenly matched and very few of the 2000 fans who were packed in the auditorium were taking any bets on the outcome.

Results of 1968
Mr. America Contest

James Haislop75½
Boyer Coe73½
Chris Dickerson73
Kenneth Waller69½
Charles Collras66½
Bill St. John66
Gilbert Hansen66
Will Whitaker65½
Craig Whitehead62½
James Morris61½
Tommy Johnson60
Curt Haywood59
Gene Kuczinski58½
Robert Moore55½
Ken Covington54
Daniel Miles53½
William Grant51½
James Handley51½
Dennis Yaklich51
Lawrence Gorden51
William Collins50½
Melvin Merriweather48
David Upson47½
Vince Anello46½
Pearson Hinkle45
Oscar Hudson42
Lou Kushner38

Most Muscular - Boyer Coe
Best Arms - Boyer Coe
Best Back - Boyer Coe
Best Legs - Boyer Coe
Best Abdominals - Charles Collras
Best Chest - Chris Dickerson

The final nod went to the Blond Hercules from Tampa, Florida, Jim Haislop, with 75½ points. Jim has no weak points and his overall development eased him by Boyer Coe of Lafayette, Louisiana. Boyer ended with 73½ points. Boyer's size and muscularity have to be seen to be appreciated. His overarm pose is perhaps the best ever with mountainous biceps growing from an iceberg-shaped triceps. The Louisiana physique star also copped the "Most Muscular", "Best Arms", "Best Legs", and "Best Back" awards. I would hae added the "Best Chest" for no one compared with him in this category.

Chris Dickerson of Long Island, New York, finished third -- a very close third. He was 1½ points behind Boyer last year and eased to within ½ point this time around. He continues to improve and looks like he may be the first Negro to win the top physique title in the U.S. Chris won the "Best Chest" trophy and displayed his unbelievable set of calves to the greatest advantage. The biggest surprise of the meet had to be Ken Waller of Jeffersonville, Indiana. It usually takes two or three trips, at a minimum, to the Mr. A show to break into the top five, but Ken had everything plus 5 big athletic points and moved over some highly respected competitors. He should make his presence felt at the Junior Mr. USA and Mr. USA contests this summer.

Chuck Collras of Los Angeles, California, was expected to do well and he did. He had won virtually everything in sight on the coast and made a fine appearance under the lights. Chuck grabbed the fifth spot in the scoring and won the "Best Abdominals" award.

Bill St. John, Gilbert Hanson, Will Whitaker, Craig Whitehead, and James Morris rounded out the top ten. Bill St. John got my vote for the "Most Improved Contestant". He looked terrific and should have, in my opinion, won the "Best Abs".

Doctor Craig Whitehead also was very, very much improved over last season. He scored 4½ more points than he did in Columbus, but ended up in the same relative position. I was surprised at the placing of Will Whitaker. He was just behind Haislop in Columbus, but wound up 8th this time around. Personally, I thought he looked better than 8th - more like third or fourth. Gilbert Hansen looked better than ever before. I was very much impressed with him at the Junior Mr. America and if he works on his weaker points in the coming year he will have a shot at the title in '69. James Morris impressed the judges and scored consistently enough to take the number ten position.

The 1968 Mr. America is certainly a credit to his chosen sport. He has spent a dedicated eight years working toward one goal - to become Mr. America. After his victories at the Mr. USA and Junior Mr. A shows, there was no stopping him. Besides having the finest physique in America, Jim possesses a congenial personality and meets people very well. He will wear the crown well.


- Jim Haislop, winner; Boyer Coe, runner-up.

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