Muscular Development, Vol 9, No 9, Page 8, September 1972



CONGRATULATIONS and plaudits to the Michigan AAU Association for the fine staging of the Mr. America and National Weightlifting Championships that were held in Detroit. The fine Masonic Temple was the site of this great event. The auditorium was magnificent; spacious with excellent seating. The stage setting, too, was impressive, contributing to the efficient way the championships breezed along, which reflected the fine cooperation this association enjoys. Those who were involved in helping to make this such a grand event deserve all the credit bestowed upon them, and we of the M D staff extend our heartiest congratulations to one and all for a great championship.

Mr. America Results

1Steven Michalik
2Pete Grymkowski
Rochester Turners B.C.
3James Morris
Bill Pearl's
4Bill St. John
York Barbell Club
5Ken Covington
6Paul Hill
Vince's Gym
7Ronald Thompson
8Don Ross
Armento's Gym
9Philip Stepaniak
Cincinnati Central Y
10Bob Birdsong
Vince's Gym
11William Seno
Sayre Park WLC
12Eugene Massey
13Carl Smith
14Bob Gallucci
Central Conn. St. College
15Will Whitaker
Roman Health Spa
16James Allen
17Joe Tete
18Fred Shandor
Win Franklin H. C.
19Joseph Sasso
20James Handley
York Barbell Club
21Dennis Wood
Univ. of Florida
22Robert McNeill
Ryan's Gym
23Spyros Loukas
24Ron Gibson
25Dominick DiBetta
Joseph's Gym & Spa
26Bill Ashpaugh
27Robert Lauda
28Michael Forgione
Armento's Health Club
29Juan DeJesus
30Jan Novak
31James Manion
Alleghany Mtn. W/L Team
32Allen Nickles
Columbus YMCA
33Dennis Harkai
34Harld Bakkelund
Rockford YMCA
35Peter MacDonald

Most Muscular Man

  1. Peter Grymkowski
  2. Steven Michalik
  3. James Morris
  4. Ken Covington
  5. Bill St. John


Best Legs - Carl Smith
Best Arms - Jim Morris
Best Back - Jim Morris
Best Abdominals - Jim Morris
Best Chest - William Seno

Although the crowd Saturday evening was good, it seemed a bit dwarfed by the spaciousness of this vast auditorium, with less attendance on Sunday when some truly great lifting took place. This smaller attendance, it's believed, was due to the fact that the finals of the Mr. America contest were made known on Saturday. Whereas greater speculation would have resulted had the Most Muscular Man and subdivision awards been made known on Saturday and holding up the finals of the Mr. America until Sunday. As it was, many people, including the Mr. America competitors, all left once the top five contenders were known. In fact, the Hilton hotel appeared deserted by Sunday evening when compared to the crowd that congested the place on Friday and Saturday. Of course those who failed to stay for the lifting on Sunday missed some truly great lifting, especially the 501¾ clean and jerk by super-heavyweight, Ken Patera. This being the first time a lift of over 500 pounds was made officially by any American, and those who saw it really appreciated the effort.

On the whole this annual event was a great success, even though a number of lifters did not perform as was expected, and the Mr. America contest itself was an upset, with Steve Michalik emerging as the winner after placing second less than a month before. He must be given credit for his persistence, which further proves that a man may be down but never out if he puts forth renewed effort. Naturally, the Jr. Mr. America, Peter Grymkowski, was somewhat disappointed, as were his friends. But we hope he doesn't take it to heart and will continue to train and try again--next year or, perhaps, this coming November when the Mr. World title will be at stake, neither of whom won it as yet, so can be another "battleground" for them.

The prelude to the championships started with meetings and a clinic by Tommy Kono on Friday morning. But the longest meeting took place that evening. It started at 7:00 P.M. and lasted until 2:30 A.M. Unfortunately, some of the officials had to get up early the next day for the weighing-in which began at 7:00 A.M., so some of these officials did not get much sleep, yet in spite of it all, did a fine job. Competition in all classes was very keen, and S&H will feature the full report.

The gathering of the Mr. A. contestants, nearly 40 in all, though some failed to show up so that 35 actually competed. The prejudging started at 9:00 A.M. This was the first time the public was invited to watch. The place of the prejudging was a large ballroom with ample seats and a stage. The men were brought out in several groups to give the audience and the judges a good look at each man without the benefits of any fixed lights. The men faced front, then to the right, full back, then to the opposite side and finally front again, after which they filed off and another group came up, repeating the various turns. After all the contestants appeared before the judges, then each man came out individually and presented his posing routine. During this time the judges appraised each for his muscularity, the various subdivisions and for the Mr. America title. The whole process took at least three hours, and judging 35 men can be quite an ordeal, especially when several of them are closely matched.

During the prejudging it was obvious that the majority of the contestants came prepared, that is, they knew what they were supposed to do, and how they were going to do it, and did just that. So even these men deserve a hand for coming prepared, which helped to make the judging a bit easier. The judges for this contest were: Don Haley, So. Pacific Asso., Dave Mayor, Mid-Atlantic, Ralph Countryman, Northern California, Herb Gowling, Washington, D. C., Robert Szymanski and Len Bosland of New Jersey, and Norman Rauch of Wisconsin.

After the prejudging each man was interviewed that afternoon, and by 5:00 P.M. that Saturday all tabulations were completed and the winners were chosen. Speculation about this time ran high. . . everyone was making guesses or wondering who placed where and how. When the Mr. A. pageant was presented that night, and as each man went through his posing routine after being introduced by Len Bosland, the MC, the final announcement was made. The results seemed to be accepted with mixed emotions.

Of course before the final announcement the various subdivisions and Most Muscular Man awards were presented. Jim Morris took Best Arms, Best Back and Best Abdominals. Carl Smith was awarded the trophy for the Best Legs, and the Best Chest award went to Bill Seno, the powerful bench press champion.

When the award for the Most Muscular Man was announced, the audience then awaited the Mr. America results with some apprehension, as many Mr. A. competitors who win the Most Muscular Man award usually win the Mr. America title with it, but this time, Grymkowski got the Most Muscular title while Steve Michalik took Mr. America. It wasn't hard to guess who the most disappointed person on stage was, and who the most elated one was! So Steve Michalik turned the tables after being beaten in the Jr. Mr. America then came through to take top honors in the biggest physique event of the year--MR. AMERICA!

We hope that those who were disappointed in their line-up will not give up but continue to train and try again next year. After all, there is never a sure winner, and even when one's chances look slim, one might emerge the winner! Michalik did it after being beaten in the Jr. A. only to come back and take top honors . . . so it's possible. Don't forget that!

Here are some pertinent facts about the top-10 in this year's Mr. America contest:

STEVE MICHALIK, the present Mr. America titleholder, lives in Valley Stream, N. Y. He's 24 and married. He won the 1971 Mr. USA title. Has been training for 11 years, and lately has been training only twice a week. Works as a commercial artist. How he trained for this year's Mr. America is told here on page 42 of this issue. His articles will be featured in S&H magazine where he will disclose the secrets of his training success.

PETER GRYMKOWSKI is from Rochester, N. Y. He is 26 years old and recently married. Is the present Jr. Mr. America titleholder. Has been training for six years, and works out about three times a week. In Detroit he also took the Most Muscular Man award. Pete works in real estate development.

JIM MORRIS is a former New Yorker but now resides in Los Angeles. He is 36 years old and has been training for 18 years, and currently works out five times a week. In 1967 he won the Mr. Jr. USA and Mr. NY State titles, and Mr. California in 1970. Is president of S. California W/L Association. Works as a sales representative for the Carnation Company.

BILL ST. JOHN, is from Glassboro, N. J. and has been training for nine years, and more recently working out six days a week. Bill is 28 years of age and is an automobile wholesaler. Repeatedly Bill has won the Best Abdominal award, and has been placing in the top-five for the past few years. His rugged physique is as impressive as it looks.

KEN COVINGTON, Philadelphia, Pa. is a meat cutter by trade and is 23 years old. Has been training for eight years and has been working out on the average of four times a week. Ken has won such titles as: Teen-age Mr. America, Mr. Chesapeake Bay, Mr. Middle Atlantic, Mr. Delaware Valley, Mr. Pennsylvania, Mr. Greater Philadelphia, and Mr. East Coast.

PAUL HILL, Los Angeles, California is 29, married and comes from a family of 10! He works for the Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company. Paul also trains six days a week and has started working out seven years ago.

RONALD THOMPSON comes from Flint, Michigan. Ron is 25 years old, married and has two children. Has been training for six years on the average of six times a week. Manages a lumber company. Has a fine physique.

DON ROSS, Detroit, Michigan is 25 years old and is a former Mr. Michigan titleholder. Currently holds the Mr. Eastern States title for 1972. Don is very muscular. Has been training for 10 years, and is now training six times a week. Also participates in Yoga, bicycle racing and wrestling. Great believer in strict adherence to diet and training principles. Is an art student and cartoonist.

PHILIP STEPANIAK, Cincinnati, Ohio is 24 and holds the present Mr. Ohio and Mr. Midwest physique titles. He's been training for five years and works out on the average of six days a week. Is employed as a security investigator for a department store.

ROBERT BIRDSONG is 24 and is formerly from Kentucky. Bob now resides in Los Angeles where he attends the Art Center College of Design. He's been training now for 10 years and works out six times a week. Holds the Mr. Physique USA title for 1972, and recently placed second in the Mr. California contest. (Information supplied by Len Bosland who judged and M.C.'d the Mr. America Contest.)


- 1927 Mr. America Steve Michalik

- Peter Grymkowski - 2nd

- Jim Morris - 3rd

- Bill St. John had one of the most rugged physiques in the contest. His muscularity was sharp, and his proportions were massive. He finished 4th in the competition.

- Ken Covington has been fairly consistent in placing among the top 10. Though inclined to be light boned, he display phenomenal size and muscularity in his poses. He took 5th.

- Part of the line-up Saturday night on stage. Thirty-five contestants vied for the title this year.

- Steve Michalik and Jim Morris talk while waiting to be called for their interview. All contestants appeared quite calm.

- Bill Seno and Bob Gallucci (seated) seem engrossed in conversation. In the background are: Gene Massey, Carl Smith, Joe Sasso and Phil Stephaniak - just resting.

- Most of the competitors, while waiting to be called for their interview, just sat around talking or exchanging exercise ideas. Here Bill St. John and Bob Gallucci converse with Bill Seno just behind.

- The Mr. America judges hard at work early Saturday morning picking a winner for each of the subdivisions, the most muscular man title, and the Mr. America crown. After appraising each of the 35 competitors, the results are listed above.

- One of the several groups line-up for the judges during the prejudging on Saturday morning.

- Carl Smith, Winner of the Best Legs

- Bill Seno, Winner of the Best Chest

- Remaining top 10 contestants, left to right: Paul Hill 6th, Ron Thompson 7th, Bob Birdsong 10th, Don Ross 8th; and Phil Stepaniak 9th.

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