NIU’s student bodybuilders compete in Egyptian Theatre

By Kari Brackett

The bronzed bodies. The scantily-clothed men and women. The crowd whistling and chanting as the lights dimmed. No, it is not a description of spring break in Florida. It is a description of the Sixth Annual Mr. NIU and Second Annual Ms. NIU 1987 Body Building Championships.

The competition was held Thursday night at the Egyptian Theatre, 132 N. Second. A restless crowd had to wait 18 extra minutes after the designated 8 p.m. starting time to see the muscle-bulging contestants.

Women fans clapped and whistled at the sight of the mens’ broad shoulders and tiny waists, while the crowd of men admired the women contestants’ defined muscles.

The bodybuilders were represented with numbers, and anyone could tell each contestant had his or her own fan club. Some fans screamed, “Yea No. 2!” or said, “You’ve got it seven.”

As the men and women flexed their muscles and showed what they had, coaches were yelling, “Tighten it up!” or “Stand still!” while the fans gave their opinions by raising or lowering the cheering and clapping.

As the tension mounted in the men’s competition, it was definitely close between Joe Invergo and Tim 0’Brien. The crowd grew more hysterical when Tim walked right next to Joe and began flexing during the final posedown. After all the posing and stern looks, Invergo won Mr. NIU. Runner-up was O’Brien, nicknamed “Bob.”

“I was real happy to win,” Invergo said. “I won two years ago and wanted it back. It was real close (the competition with Tim). On any given day it could have been different.”

Other awards included best chest and best legs, which were won by Invergo. O’Brien won the best arms award.

Joe said he started power lifting about eight years ago, but only began bodybuilding two years ago. O’Brien began the sport three years ago and placed second in his class and second overall at the Illinois Collegiate this year.

Even though the women’s championships began two years ago, the competition was stiff. The judges had to call back four of the six women for one last look before they could decide the three winners.

In the end, last year’s winner, Sue Price, was again named Ms. NIU. She also won best legs, best arms and best abdominals. Second place was taken by Lisa Abramson, who also won best poser. Cherylynn Stanley came in third.

“I was really surprised to win all body parts,” Price said. “I read a book on bodybuilding, and I became fascinated by it.”

Price won another honor earlier this year. She placed first in the Illinois Collegiate while Abramson took second.

After a night of posing, flexing, sweating and concentration, all of the contestants turned back into NIU students, but all will be back in the gym to improve upon their muscular physiques.