I'm hoping that someday I will come across the file copy of my notes and original manuscript for this article. The article that Mike Armstrong and I submitted for publication contained more details about placings than appeared in the published version. As all writers know, we are at the mercy of publishers, editors, and space limitations! -- Irene, 3/13/2010


Irene L. Hause and Mike Armstrong
Muscle Digest
Volume 1, Number 9
[Photo Credits:  Unknown]

Above: Rod Koontz - AAU Mr. USA 1977
First Place (tall class) and Overall Winner

The Californians did it again, this time at the historic Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, with both the Mr. USA and Teenage Mr. USA titles going to residents of the Golden State.  Representing the Garden Grove Athletic Club, the new Mr. USA, Rod Koontz, is an audience favorite wherever he goes.  Along with his fine physique, Koontz's superlative stage presence reflects his easy-going personality.  Rudy Hermosillo, winner of the teenage Mr. USA trophy, had progressed from third place in the teenage short class at the Gold's Classic to his present title in only nine months.  A quiet and serious young man, Hermosillo trains at Gold's Gym.

 Credit goes to Ken "Doc" Neely who made this, the only recent major contest held in the South, a contest for the competitor.

 The contest was well organized, well run, and well promoted.  The politics that threaten to submerge bodybuilding competitions into ludicrousness were, if not absent, at least held to a minimum.  We are looking forward to "Doc" holding the annual contest.  Bodybuilding needs the credibility that fine contests like the Mr. USA give.

 Teenage Mr. USA

 Probably the toughest class to judge had been the teenage short class because of the uniformly excellent quality of contestants.  Rudy Hermosillo, the winner, displayed excellent arms, back, and lats.  His perfect symmetry was enhanced by an exceptionally polished and sophisticated posing routine.  Second in the short class was Peter Leonetti.  His huge and well-defined legs surpassed many in the senior division, but were out of proportion with his upper body.

Above: Rudy Hermosillo - AAU Teenage Mr. USA 1977
First Place (short class) and Teenage Overall Winner

Massive Dwayne Broadway, the first place winner in the medium height class, was Hermosillo's closest competition. The Best Chest and Back winner also had superb thighs, calves, and large, well-defined arms, and he put them all together in what had to be on the most spectacular crab poses in the entire contest.

 Above (left): Dwayne Broadway - First Place (teenage medium class)
Above (right): Peter Leonetti - Second Place (teenage short class)

 In sharp contrast to the other competitors, none of the contestants in the teenage tall class appeared ready for national competition.  However, David Wayne Boone, clearly in first place, showed potential for future contests.

  The dual posing routine of Steve and Ellen Davis to Adala's Theme followed the teenage division and brought thunderous, encore-demanding applause.  The grace of these two attractive proponents of physical fitness lends real class to any program in which they are featured.

  Mr. USA

  Tony Pandolfo, a popular veteran of bodybuilding, won first place in the short class.  His strongest points were his abdominals and legs; he also displayed excellent triceps and remarkable vascularity.  With good definition, size, and vascularity, Mike Arnold came in second.

  The battle for first place in the medium height group was virtually a tossup between C. F. Smith and Billy Arlen.  Both were symmetrical and had excellent arms.  Arlen had a better chest; Smith had better legs.  Best Arms and Best Poser went to third place winner, Richard Baldwin.

  C. F. Smith's erratic behavior, which may well have cost him the Mr. USA title, had been the topic of the day.  His swaggering backstage manner had won him no friends among the contestants, and he had been chastised by the judges for swimming in oil during prejudging.  But it was his performance during the lineup in the evening show which caused the judges to disqualify him for consideration for placement among the three overall winners.  While the men around him quietly stood facing the judges, Smith continually posed his legs or bent forward from the waist, doing hammy, exaggerated bicep shots.

 Above (left): Tony Pandolfo - First Place (short class)
Above (right): C. F. Smith - First Place (medium class)

      In the tall men's class, it was Rod Koontz all the way.  As a contender for the Best Abdominal, Arms, Back Legs, Poser, and Most Muscular award, Koontz's posing routine was sweepingly dramatic and exceptionally effective in displaying his superlative physique.

  Just prior to the presentation of the trophies, the fabulous Mike Mentzer had worked the audience into a frenzy with his guest posing routine.  Mentzer, Steve Davis, Ralph Countryman, and Peary Rader received special awards for their contributions to bodybuilding.


- end -


Letter from Contestant in NPC Georgia 2006

Hi Mr. Neely,
This is Frank McNally, Lightweight Masters 35+ winner and Second place in Open Bantamweight.
First, I would like to thank you for letting me be involved in one of the most professionally run shows I have been involved with. From the way you were straightforward and open with us during your meeting to the Backstage people who kept me focused on what I had to do on stage. Ed especially gave me great help with my oil "overage"--from that point on I knew that your team's goal was to put on a show that was top notch.
I wanted to let you know of the little things a contest helps with--the things you don't see. In particularly the lives a contest like this can change-not just for the overall winner.
I got married in 1992 and had been away from the Bodybuilding scene since 1991. My wife (still the same one today) had never known this side of me and was perplexed (to say the least!) of why, just over 2 years ago, with one lone 30lb dumbell and no finances for a gym membership, I began my road back to bodybuilding.
After a year of one 110lb weight set and a simple bench with a leg extension/curl I tirelessly trained 5-6 days a week, my wife saw I serious and bought me a nice Golds Gym Weight bench in which I broke the Lat Pulldown off in about a month but continued nonetheless plug away, 5-6 days a week, and adding some more free weights.
Unfortunately, my efforts at home were growing thin on my wife's patience. She saw no income coming in from this "hobby" as she put it (sometimes even calling my dedication a bad "obsession") and wanted to know when I was going to give this "hobby" up.
My wife gave me an ultimatum- if I don't do anything good (win) I will give up this crazy obsession or else MAJOR things were going to happen in our marriage (nonewhich would of benefited me)
Well, I am pleased to say that after Saturday night, my wife now sees the purpose of my workouts, she sees why I have the passion and fire in my workouts. She saw my youngest (8 yrs old) jumping around, pumping his fist as dad was announced the winner. He saw the smiles of joy on my two other children. My mother and Grandmother who flew all the way from West Palm Beach just because they believed in me.
No, I will never step on stage at the Mr. Olympia, probably never get a Pro Card, more than likely never win the Mr. Georgia contest. But what I won Saturday night was greater than all 3 of those titles put together and rolled into a lifetime. It was something a huge trophy can't represent.
What I got Saturday night was the best prize of all--my wife now understands why I do what I do.
So, please never stop promoting your shows. They mean so much more than just a title!!
Thank you Mr. Neely!
Frank McNally
Mr. Lightweight Masters 35+ 2006


milos sarcev after his 1989 Win @ Coastal USA Promoted by DOC Neely

 Pictures Milos sent Doc from Coastal 6-11-1989

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