IronMan, Vol 24, No 6, Page 9, September 1965

Jerry Daniels Wins Both Jr. & Sr. Mr. America Titles

By The Editor

VERY seldom does a man ever win both the Jr. and Sr. Mr. America titles in the same year, but a very fortunate young fellow by the name of Jerry Daniels from down in Chattanooga, Tennessee, accomplished this unusual feat, and not only that, but he had won the Teen Age Mr. America title in 1963.

This year there was a formidable lineup of 29 superbly built young giants assembled in Los Angeles for the Mr. America contest which was held at the Embassy Auditorium June 11th and 12th. Each year it seems things get a little tougher, and each year some of the top men stay out of the competition because they are afraid they cannot win. This is a very poor attitude, for they can never be sure where they will place, and it does some men more good to have a loss or so and learn how to take it than it would for them to win.

The Most Muscular Man contest was presented the night of June 11th, and some tremendously muscled men came on the posing platform to vie for the title and all of them were good, but one man stood out above all the others so much that the judges had no trouble at all in picking the winner. This Sergio Oliva from Chicago, is one of the most amazing physical specimens that we have ever seen and he has a posing routine that is outstanding, and displays his physique to greatest advantage. This fellow has very unusual muscle shape. His arms are tremendous, his shoulders are broad and his waist is very small. More about him later. Second in Most Muscular was Bob Gajda of Chicago. He is one of the best built men in the country and has excellent definition and fine shape. Mike Ferraro, who seems to improve a little all the time, and looks very good, was third in this event.

The men were first brought out in two groups for the judges to look at under normal lighting (there wasn't space on the stage for all of them to come out at one time as the stage was rather small). They were then brought out one at a time to pose under the spot light.

I was acting as MC land so was in a poor position to see them at their best, but had been at the pre-judging and so knew pretty well what they looked like.

George Bruce brought on some of his beauty queens and introduced them and explained their titles. Then during the intermission while the judges were tallying their ballots, Zabo Kozewski came on and gave a posing exhibition to show what good shape a man can maintain at the age of 43. He is very popular on the west coast and looked very, very good.

Presentation of the trophies and announcement of winners was then made. This was a different procedure, for it has been the custom to present the winners of both the Most Muscular and the Mr. America on the second night. This was the way the organizing committee felt it should be done to please the audience.

On the second night the audience was given another opportunity to see all the men going through their poses again and with George Bruce doing the emceeing, I had an opportunity to sit with the judges and get a good view of the men under the spot lights. The men came on in the same order as the previous night to pose under the lights.

The first man out to pose before a full house of enthusiastic fans was Bill Parker of Atlanta, Georgia. Bill is not very tall, being just 5'4" and weighing 148 pounds, but when he comes out and starts his posing routine, you forget about his height, for he certainly has perfection of development. He is not huge like some of them, but has good size and wonderful shape and fine definition. He knows how to pose for best display of his physique. He later gave a superb exhibition of muscle control and probably is one of the best in the country at this. If you need a man at your show who can entertain and please the crowd, Bill is your man. He has won many titles, such as Mr. East Coast, Mr. South, Mr. Southern States, and has also won the 148 lifting title in the Southeastern Championships. His best lifts are 210 press, 210 snatch and 260 clean and jerk, with 320 squat, 300 bench press and 375 dead lift. He was outstanding at football, track and swimming, having won first place in the city swimming championships. He is a student at the University of Marietta.

Von LaMon is another fellow who is short in stature, being 5'5" tall and weighing 152. He certainly is one of the best built men on the west coast, or anywhere for that matter. He is 29 years old and has a really magnetic personality and is liked everywhere he goes. Von has a fine posing routine which displays his fine symmetrical physique to advantage and he has very good definition. He is an outstanding lifter, having done a press of 230, snatch of 215 and jerk of 270, a squat of 410, bench press of 300 and dead lift of 500 for 2 reps, and has won many lifting and physique titles including the Mr. Pacific Coast. He works for a gym as a salesman and bookkeeper.

LeRoy Saba is 27, and has been appearing in the Mr. America contest for some years. He was the third man on the posing platform and is extremely bulky and muscular. He was second in Most Muscular in the Mr. America contest in 1960 and was trying again this year. He has excellent shape but I don't believe he had quite as much definition this year though my memory might be poor on this. He too, is only 5'4½" and weighs 165 in very hard condition, so you can see how bulky he really is. He is a professional drummer, but at present is working as manager of Martin's Health Studio. He is very strong, having made a 500 squat, 325 bench press, dead lift of 455 and a press of 240. He has won many titles--at least 7 major ones including the Mr. Western America.

John Kanter Jr. was the fourth man up. John is 24 and has been training 6 years. Many fellows ask how long they must train to get good enough to enter big physique contests. Most of these men have been training from 5 to 15 years. John is from Phoenix, but attends West Virginia University. He is very good in track, having won the Outstanding Track Athlete award for Western Penn., in 1959. John is 5'6" (seems like we had an unusually large list of short men this year) and weighs 185. He is a very strong man, having done 280 press, 240 snatch, 330 clean and jerk, 550 squat for 3 reps, bench press of 440 and dead lift of 585. He is married and has one child and works as an assistant grocery manager. He won many honors as a football player.

Randy Watson was again competing for the title and this time weighing 180 lbs. at a height of 5'7". Randy looked good but we felt that he did not show the definition that he had the year before. He just didn't look quite as good and we feel the extra bulk had not been consolidated long enough to permit him to shape up and get the definition he needed. We hoped Randy would win the big title this year. Randy is a minister and has been training for 8 years. In addition to serving his church as a minister, he also attends David Lipscomb College, working on his masters degree and we wonder how he has time to train. He also trains some of his parishioners and other ministers of the town, so he is a very busy man. He was the Jr Mr. America in 1963 and third in the Mr. America last year; the same position he finally attained this year. I really feel that with sharper definition he would have placed much higher--probably the top. He is an expert gymnast and power lifter, having done 445 squat, 365 bench press, 500 dead lift, 250 press, 230 snatch, 280 clean and jerk and he can curl 175.

John Balik Jr., had been training for 5 years and has a very nice physique at 5'7" height and 170 lbs. bodyweight. He is an engineer by occupation, and a good lifter, with 250 press, 215 snatch and 300 clean and jerk to his credit.

Roger Millette was the 7th man to pose and is 29 and from Santa Clara, California. He is 5'7½" and weighs 178. He has won several titles and has a very nice physique but will improve a lot.

Nick Spano at 23 has been training 7 years and stands 5'9" tall and weighed 180. He is going to school as a graduate student, has won several titles including Mr. East Coasts; has lifted 235 press, 215 snatch, 285 clean, and jerk, 420 squat and 360 bench press.

Mel Williamson is 29, and has returned to physique contests after an absence of several years. He has very broad shoulders and trim waist and his chest is very flexible and balloons up when he flexes it. He has accumulated about 35 trophies for various contests and was Mr. Muscle Beach in 1956, and then several years later won 3rd in the Mr. Western America in 1963. He has squatted with 470, bench pressed 355 and dead lifted 440. He works as a food technologist, is 5'8½" and weighs 187.

John Homola is another who has been competing for many years. He is 28 years old, 5'9" tall and weighs 185. His is not a broad physique, but very well developed and proportioned. He is an engineering programmer. You may recall that he has had his photo in Iron Man a number of times, illustrating his favorite exercises. He is a very good power lifter, with a 420 squat, 340 bench press and 620 dead lift. He has curled 180 and his clean and jerk is 330. He has fine skin texture and a beautiful tan, as had most of the fellows.

Mike Ferraro at 25 looks his best. Mike has been training for 10 years, is 5'9" and weighs 196, which makes him quite large, but he has superb definition. His posing routine is very outstanding and brings gasps from the audience. Mike seems to have attained the maximum of development for his type of physique. He operates two restaurants and is very interested in Thoroughbred training. He is a good lifter and has powerful legs; squats with 505, he bench presses 340 and dead lifts 550. He has also made a 320 press, 250 snatch and 305 clean and jerk.

Charles Amato, at 23, is a new star from Sam Loprinzi's Studio in Portland, At 5'9' and 190 lbs., he displays one of the finest physiques and recently won the Mr. Western USA title. He squats with 450, bench presses 340 and dead lifts 490. He is a student at Portland State. He is an excellent artist and won first in his state three years in succession in the Fisher Body Design contest promoted by General Motors. He shows great possibilities for the future.

Bob Gajda, who won second in the Most Muscular and second in the Mr. America, has a very outstanding physique and should do well in future Mr. America contests. Standing 5'9" and weighing 193, he has plenty of bulk and really outstanding definition and shape. He has won a number of titles and is quite strong, having done 255 press, 235 snatch and 295 clean and jerk. He is a student at George Williams College and probably was the happiest young man there, about taking second in both events.

John Corvello is only 21 but already has a superb physique and has been training 7½ years. He is 5'9½" tall and weighs 200. He won the Mr. California title this year, among others he holds. He has a very symmetrical physique and presents a very pleasing appearance on the stage.

Bill Whitaker is 25, 5'10", and weighs 196 pounds. He is from Hammond, Louisiana, has won two titles, was an outstanding athlete in school, and at present works in his mother's store. He ran the 100 in 9.9, and has made a 450 squat, 500 dead lift and 390 bench press.

Paul Wachholz is a vice president of a bank in Englewood, Colorado. He is 5'10" tall and weighs 196 pounds. He has won a lot of physique titles including the Mr. Central USA, Mr. Iron Man, Mr. Midwest, Mr. Rocky Mt. and others, and has held the dead lift record in the 198 class at 630, squatted with 470, bench pressed 340, pressed 285, snatched 255 and clean and jerked 335. These are all official records, not training poundages as are so often given. He has won many lifting titles and is probably the most versatile and outstanding in athletic ability of all the contestants.

Sergio Oliva of Chicago was the outstanding physique of the meet, according to the opinion of many, and easily won the Most Muscular. Had he been a citizen, and able to speak English fluently, he probably could have won the Mr. America title. He is also an outstanding lifter, having formerly been the Cuban champion in the 198 class, and made a press of 300, snatch of 305 and clean and jerk of 400. He has a squat of 550, bench press of 500, dead lift of 600 and curl of 230, which makes him by far the strongest man in the contest. He won second in the Jr. Mr. America. His legs are very very powerful looking and his calves are very good--a generally weak area for most colored men, but Oliva has a different ancestry than the colored people of the USA, with a mixture of European blood, and this gives him certain physical advantages of each race and he has made the most of it. His physique reminds us much of Steve Reeves but there seems to be more of it. He should be able to win the Mr. Universe contest if he competes. We see the York group are looking for someone to send over and Sergio would be a good choice.

Dr. Andrew N. Burpee of Santa Monica has a nice physique and is 5'10" tall and weighs 188. He has won many lifting and physique contests, presses 245, snatches 225, clean and jerks 285, has a squat of 420, bench press of 375 and dead lift of 505. He has curled 195; 175 with his back against a post.

Dr. Craig Whitehead was the oldest man in the contest at 30, though several were 29, He is 5'10" and weighs 200, with a very attractive physique, very symmetrical and well balanced. He has been training 9 years and has competed in the Mr. America contest several times. His best poses are the relaxed ones; he has such a pleasing physique in these poses. He is also a champion lifter, with a press of 295, snatch of 265, clean and jerk of 350, squat of 425, bench press of 365 and dead lift of 575. He placed 5th in last year's event, but I believe he looked just as good this year.

Ralph Kroger of Solana Beach, California, looked very good. He is a salesman-bookkeeper for a health studio and certainly is one of the outstanding physiques of the country. He is also a great lifter and with limited lifting training has done 315 press, 285 snatch and 365 clean and jerk. He has also made a 540 squat, 400 bench press and 525 dead lift. He was 5'10½" and weighed 198, though he sometimes goes way up in bodyweight.

Bill McArdle who trains at Vince's Gym, is 23 and has been training 14 years, since 9 years of age-that is starting young, and he shows the results of it, for he has a very outstanding physique. He recently won the Mr. Los Angeles and Mr. Southern California titles. He is 5'11" tall and weighs 205. He has good shape and excellent definition. He has pressed 275, snatched 230 and clean and jerked 305, with a 410 squat, bench press of 275 and dead lift of 465. He works as an illustrator and draftsman.

Dr. John Gourgott usually lifts in the meets, but this year decided to concentrate on the physique contest alone. He looked very rugged at 5'11" and 204 pounds. He placed third in the Sr. National lifting championships last year and second in the Mr. America. He has been training 9 years and has lifts of 340 press, 300 snatch and 350 clean and jerk to his credit along with a 500 squat, 390 bench press and 525 dead lift. He did not look as if he had quite as much definition this year as last, tho this is hard to determine. He did look in very hard condition. He is a practicing physician.

Dennis Tinerino from Brooklyn is only 19 but has an outstanding physique and you will read elsewhere that he won the Mr. Teen Age America title this year. Apparently the organizers planned it this way, the short men appearing first in the lineup and then the tall ones. Tinerino was the first six footer, and he weighs a husky 210 lbs. He has won many titles, including Mr. Eastern America, Mr. Region 1 and Mr. Atlantic Coast. He does a 430 squat, a 380 bench press and a 450 dead lift. He has a very fine physique with exceptional definition.

Bob Oliver is 6'1" and weighs 194 and was once a very fat boy, weighing 260 lbs. He has a very nice build now and has tossed the shot 50 feet and made a 425 bench press, a 400 squat and 500 dead lift. He has trained at the Pasadena Gym for 3½ years and has won the Mr. Pacific Southwest title.

Another six foot, 215 lb. man, Ken McCord, is quite strong, having done a 425 bench press, 550 squat and 475 dead lift. He has a very fine physique and looks as strong as he is. Though a college man, he now works as a hair stylist and barber. He is active in church and youth organizations. He has won the Mr. Western America title.

Jerry Daniels is an even 6 ft. and also weighs 215 lbs. Jerry is 21, and we have previously mentioned a few of his titles. He attended Gordon Military College and was an outstanding football player and was voted most outstanding player in city and county all star game and ran 95 yards to a touchdown. He has a bench press of 410 and dead lift of 515. Now working as a clerk, he is very big, and has good shape and good definition.

Joseph Townsell, age 27, is from San Jose YMCA. He is 6'¼" and 219 lbs. He does a squat of 450 and bench press of 400. He is a good Olympic lifter, with 260 press, 250 snatch and 300 clean and jerk. He works as an electronics technician.

Gene Dickerson, also 27, is 6'1" and weighs 215. He does a squat with 525 and a bench press of 360. He was Mr. San Diego in 1965, among several other outstanding titles. He is also the president of the San Diego Weightlifting Association.

Charles Estes, the last but by no means the least, for he was the tallest and heaviest man in the contest at 6'2" weighing 230 and is certainly very outstanding. From Nashville, Tennessee, he has been training 9 years and recently had his story and photos in Iron Man and was on the Iron Man cover. He has made a 100 yard dash in 10 seconds during high school, and does 475 squat, 423 bench press and 500 in the dead lift, which is good for a man stretched out like he is. He has tremendous development and very good definition I expected him to place much higher than he did.

After watching all these fine physiques pose under the lights, the judges had quite a task to pick one to wear the Mr. America crown. Unfortunately the prejudging was very brief and almost no opportunity to look the fellows over, and about all they had much time for was to ask some questions about athletic accomplishments. This should be corrected next year if plans for a full day for the Mr. America contest materialize. Here is a question that often puzzles judges: should a man be judged as he looks under normal light and unposed, or as he looks under the spot and posing.

Frequently a man is completely transformed when he steps under a light and poses. We have seen men you would hardly give a second look to on the beach, look terrific on the posing platform and under lights. Usually, of course, a man who looks good under spot lights will look good under normal lights too. Judges frequently feel like making changes in their ballots and, I might say, often do, after they see the men posing under lights. Is this good or is it bad? Where should the decision be made. We hope that when complete pre-judging is instituted the judges can have the men pose in both normal light and under spot lights.

We have discussed the publishing of point scores and placings for all men-as to whether it is good or bad, and have decided not to use any score below 10th place and it is possible we should not go below this. You see, the judges do most of their work on the top men and the men lower down the scale get less attention. This means that most of these men in the lower brackets are probably not properly placed, and publication of the full point score certainly doesn't give an accurate presentation of the true position of the men relative to the others.

Here then, are the first ten: Jerry Daniels 90½; Bob Gajda 88; Randy Watson 87½; Sergio Oliva 84½; Charles Estes 82½; John Gourgott 82; Von LaMon 78; Mike Ferraro 77½; Dennis Tinerino 77½; Craig Whitehead 77½. In spite of the points these men have, I believe any one of them could be Mr. America. As a matter of fact, my score sheet often ties several men, and I then have to go over it, even though I dislike to, and change the points, because only one can win. The final choice is seldom even unanimous either with the judges or the audience.

Judges this year were: Joe Raymond, chairman, John Terpak, Karo Whitfield, Frank Bates, Herb Lucy, John Scott and Peary Rader.


- Jerry Daniels, winner of the three big physique titles in America, has a very fine physique as shown in these photos. He has a 52 chest, 19 arms 26¾ thigh, 32 waist and 17 inch calves.

- Here are the place winners posing with the Queens. Watson on the left, Daniels, the winner, and Gajda in second place, on the right. The Queen is Miss Dianne Stanley. We have the other two girls' names but don't know which is which. They are Lois Greene and Lynn Frommer. All three work out with weights and can leg press over 700 lbs. (short press).

- Watson and Gajda look very good, as you can see from these flash photos.

- Here is the fabulous back of Sergio Oliva. His shoulders are so broad that his waist looks very very small, which it is. He is loaded with these massive muscles all over. His legs are very outstanding in every way. He is an outstanding lifter too, with over a 1,000 lb. total in the 198 lb. class. His posing routine is superb.

- Charles Estes was the tallest man in the show and certainly one of the best built. He looked wonderful, and being so tall is very impressive with his massive measurements, fine shape and excellent definition.

- John Gourgott looked very good this year but did not place as high as last year and we are not sure why. You sometimes feel that several men ought to win, or at least place near the top.

- Ferraro looked better than ever -- seemed a little bigger, and still holds his excellent definition and he has a really startling and sensational posing routine.

- Zabo Kozewski, former best abdominal winner, and now 43, gave a posing exhibition and demonstrated that you can still retain a superb physique at this age.

- Here are three of the shorter contestants. Due to the camera angle, Leroy Saba, on the right, looks taller, but there is only one inch difference in their height, will Billy Parker, on the left, being 5'4" and Von LaMon, in the center, 5'5" and Saba on the right 5'4½". All were very good, and LaMon came in 7th place. All photos by Ralph Countryman. We have hundreds more of these fine photos for you in future issues.

Sergio Oliva's name was consistently spelled Olivia

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