The Daily Gamecock

Students compete in Mr. and Miss USC fitness, bodybuilding contest

Annual Mr. and Miss USC competition

You can't spell "muscle" without "USC."

The USC Bodybuilding and Fitness Club sponsored the 33rd annual Mr. and Miss USC Competition on Saturday, April 2. James Jeffcoat won the title of Mr. USC, and Christie Shell was named Miss USC.

Four women competed for the title of Miss USC. Contestants were judged on shape, proportion, poise and physique. The contestants posed in both cocktail dresses and two-piece swimsuits.
Third-year business student Shell won the title of Miss USC. This was Shell's first time competing for the title of Miss USC.

"I started training at the end of November, but I knew I wanted to compete over the summer," Shell said.

Shell's training routine consisted of lifting weights six times a week and other training four times a week. She also stuck to a strict diet during her preparation for the competition.

"I don't eat processed food at all," Shell said.

The men competing for the title of Mr. USC were judged in three weight classes: lightweight, middleweight and heavyweight. Each contestant got a chance to take the stage and present a variety of poses for the judges. Contestants were judged on presentation, muscularity, symmetry and definition.

First-year exercise science student Kenneth Garland was the only contestant in the lightweight category, so he took the top prize in that category.

There were four contestants in the middleweight class. First-year vocal performance student Joe Bach took the top prize in that category with third-year exercise science student David DiBartolo taking second place, higher education masters candidate Ryan Stephens taking third place, and second-year history student Nigel Turner coming in fourth place. Stephens also won the award for Best Poser.

Four contestants competed in the heavyweight class. Jeffcoat, an instructor in the nursing college, took first place in the category. First-year business student Jarad Craven placed second, third-year computer science student Colin Edwards took third place, and third-year exercise science student Keith Henning took fourth place.

While several of the contestants in the competition had never taken part in a bodybuilding competition before, Henning competed in Mr. USC last year.

"I did the Mr. USC competition last year, and posing on stage and in front of the judges was so much fun that I knew I wanted to do it again this year," Henning said.

Henning decided on the night of last year's competition that he would enter again this year and has been training all year in preparation.