Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Emerald Cup 2017 Memorable Moments

The Emerald Cup is in a class by itself when it comes to bodybuilding and fitness events. It's been around for decades and continues building on its tradition of excellence year after year.

One person with a front row seat - literally - from the early Emerald Cups to the present day event is official photographer Mark Mason.

You can't miss Mark. He's anchored front and center at every show, running video coverage, helping media find their seats and saying hello to just about everyone that walks by. Somehow he manages to shoot the entire event at the same time, never missing a beat. And all with a smile on his face.

"I first saw the Emerald Cup in 1992 at the Paramount Theater and my first time working it was 1998 at the Meydenbauer Center. The biggest change besides the number of competitors is the addition of all the vendor booths and the sponsorship from the top industry leaders, all due to Brad's tireless one-on-one marketing at the Arnold and the Olympia."

See some of Mark's excellent work on his YouTube channel.

What made the 2017 Emerald Cup experience memorable? A number of competitors share their Emerald Cup moment.

Nicole Wolf

Twenty-seven-year-old mom Nicole Wolf, competing in her first Emerald Cup, walked away as the Figure E winner and narrowly missed out on the overall figure crown. In the process she managed to wow IFBB women's historian Steve Wennerstrom, no easy feat. Even more impressive - this is just her first year competing.

"My highlight was attending this show knowing it was only my third show of my career and not expecting anything, then taking home first place in my height class and second overall. Also, getting positive feedback from the judges about attending the USA's in July was unexpected and so appreciated."

For the record, Nicole stands at just over 5-5 and weighed 132 pounds for this show. Her coach is Jeremiah Xavier Glasenapp.

See Nicole on stage at Emerald Cup 2017 in 4K: YouTube



Steve Wennerstrom and Nicole Wolf

Nicole Wolf

Sierra Scheffer

Sierra made her Emerald Cup debut in physique. By the end of the weekend, she held bragging rights as the overall physique champion.

"Best part of the weekend was being with my two best gal pals; road tripping over and back, including the one-hour traffic stop on the way there, and the multiple food stops on the way home ( Ethellos Greek Yogurt, Larsen Bakery, and Dicks Burgers); and spending time, even though it was short, with everyone who came to support me from home!"

For the record, 5-3 Sierra weighed 125 lbs for the show and weighs 150 lbs off-season. She's been competing for two years.


Sierra Scheffer

Sierra Scheffer - Physique Champ

Tiffany Shepherd - first time Emerald Cup competitor

"My most memorable moment was standing in the main lobby with lots of people. While being congratulated on both my second and third place wins, I was stuffing my face with four different cupcakes in one hand, a Corona in my other, trophies by my feet and tiaras on my head! Lol. Everyone was laughing and saying how great it was seeing me celebrate. It's the little things that matter after you train so hard for that day and that moment. It's all worth it."

For the record, Tiffany placed second in Figure A and third in Figure 35. She's 5-2 tall, stage weight 113 lbs and off-season 125 lbs. She's been competing for three years.



Tiffany Shepherd

Inna Wyatt

With four Emerald Cup appearances to her credit, it's safe to say that Inna Wyatt is an Emerald Cup veteran. She owned the stage at the 2017 show with wins in Figure Overall, Women's Physique 35, Figure 35 and Figure B. Pretty impressive trophy haul.

Highlight of Emerald Cup Weekend?

"The highlight for me was winning the overall figure title. It had been a goal of mine to win the overall before going to compete at Nationals. I also competed in the physique division for the first time and I also won as well. I really enjoyed it and it gave me a chance to showcase my previous dance career background with the posing routine."

What Memory will you hold on to looking back at 2017 Emerald Cup?

"Reaching one of my biggest fitness goals of winning the Figure Overall title after trying for four years. I was also amazed at all of the support I received from my coach, Matt Porter, and all of my friends."

For the record, Inna stands 5-3; stage weight 125 lbs; off-season weight 145 lbs; started competing in 2009, but took two years off, so consistently for six years.

Of note: Inna operates her own business designing and creating custom competition suits for all divisions. Contact her for your suit needs.

Originally from Moscow, Russia, a whopping 5200 miles away from Seattle, Inna holds the unofficial distinction of the most distant hometown from the Emerald Cup stage. Having lived in the USA for 10 years, that cuts Inna's travel time to the show to just 30 minutes. Definitely more convenient than Moscow!




Inna Wyatt Figure Champ

Carson Siler - Team Hexx bikini competitor

Competing in her second Emerald Cup, Carson place second in Bikini A, a carbon copy of her 2016 Emerald Cup show.

"The highlight of my weekend was accomplishing some personal goals, and being able to cheer on and support the rest of the competitors/clients on Team Hexx. The best part of participating in this sport is being able to share experiences like this with other like minded individuals. I think my favorite memory from this year was being able to hug Rachael Chiarrelli when she took first place. She is a dear friend of mine and fellow teammate. It was fun to share the stage with her as well as all the other amazing athletes that were there! I was honored to be a part of it all."

For the record, this is Carson's third year competing. She's 30, stands 5-1 and hits the stage at her competition weight of 114 lbs to 116 lbs.


Mackena Sherman - Figure F 6th Place

Mackena competed in her first show, bikini, in 2014 as a 19-year-old. She did her first Emerald Cup in 2015, also bikini. As she explains, "I took dead last out of 23 girls because I was over-developed for bikini." Now she competes in figure.

"The moment I will never forget is getting the chance to sit back stage with my mom and do her makeup for her before she went on stage for women's physique masters on Friday. It was a special moment that we were able to get each other ready before walking on stage.

"The moment I see her walk out on stage is a feeling I can't describe. I'm just so overwhelmed with excitement. I'm that person that's going crazy in the audience. I get as close as I can to the stage so I can yell at her and tell her which muscle she's not squeezing. If it wasn't for her, I would have never thought that I could get on stage."

For the record, Mackena is 23, stands 5-7, competes at 149 lbs and off-season is 156 lbs.



Mackena Sherman at Emerald Cup Expo

Megan Little - Figure C Champion

Coming into the Emerald Cup with nothing but first place and second place on her competitive resume, Megan kept the streak alive as she nailed it in Figure C adding another win to her resume. One look at her - and she's in just her second season of competing - it's not a stretch to think that she'll keep this hot streak going.

For the record, Megan is 29, stands 5-4, hits the stage at 130 pounds and goes 150 pounds in her off-season.

"Highlight of this started with being asked to compete in the Emerald Cup. Being that this was only my second season, I was thrilled because it meant all my hard work had definitely paid off and I was on the right track. Then the icing on the cake was winning my Open Figure Class and going into the overall battle with fellow teammate Silver Keck - such a rush."

Megan on stage at Emerald Cup 2017: YouTube



Megan Little - Killing it from the front

Megan Little - Killing it from the rear

Markie Williams - Bikini G

For the record, 29-year-old Markie is 5-7, competes at 130 pounds and has been competing for just under two years. She placed third in her bikini class at the 2016 Emerald Cup.

"You know, this year I was disappointed when I didn't place in the top five, especially since I placed in the top three at Emerald Cup the year before, and this year I felt like I made major improvements to my physique compared to last year. By not being in the top five, I felt like I let down my friends and fans who expected me to do really well. But what really surprised me was the number of people who stopped me after the show, many that I didn't even know, and they just wanted to tell me they thought I looked great and that they were still proud of me.

"That, combined with everyone who reached out to me in the days following, really made an impression on me, because I realized that even when I don't bring home a trophy, I still have so many amazing people in my life who care about me and will support me no matter what and at the end of the day, that's what is most important to me."

More Markie:

Markie competing at Emerald Cup 2017 YouTube

Markie interview YouTube




Sponsor Innutra

Repping for sponsor Innutra

Markie Williams

Brittany Conley - props to Brittany for her service in the Armed Forces.

Brittany made her Emerald Cup debut competing in Figure D. She started competing in 2011, had two years off from a deployment to Afghanistan in 2013, and then pregnancy in 2015.

"Emerald Cup was an eye opener for me. I saw and met some incredible women who were at that 'next level' so to speak. Arianna Tate - I actually became friends with her since we frequent the same gym in Olympia. I was so grateful for her presence and kind words backstage, as well as sharing in her excitement as she placed third in her height class.

"I really tried to soak it in and had a lot of time to reflect on my journey during the process. Standing next to women that I have been following on social media, thinking, 'Wow. Any one of these women could be a pro' and knowing that I was that much closer to stepping onto NPC Nationals stage. It was my first Emerald Cup and I hope for it to be my last because I want to say this time next year, I'll have placed top 5 at a national level show."

For the record, Brittany stands 5-4.5 tall, hits the stage at 135 pounds and weighs 145 pounds off-season.

Brittany on stage competing in Emerald Cup 2017 YouTube



Rachael Chiarelli - Bikini A Champion

After making her stage debut at the 2016 Emerald Cup, Rachael went on to win Bikini A at the 2017 Emerald Cup. Three short weeks after this victory, she earned her pro card.

"I had the privilege of competing for and earning my pro card at Jr USA's in Charleston, South Carolina May 20, 2017. Congrats to my Coach Lauren Irick - IFBB Bikini Pro on this one as well. Certainly could not have done it without her."

Rachael's Emerald Cup highlight:

"So many amazing highlights from this show! The best part of every show for me is always hugging my husband after stepping off stage! I was blessed to have quite a bit of family support with Bellevue being so close to my hometown, which was really nice.

"I loved my moments preparing for stage with my makeup artist Amber Lobao, who said an incredible prayer for me! I was blessed with the opportunity to meet some of my Team Hexx friends in person and even share the stage with them at different points in the show, which ended up making things super fun! I made a couple connections with some of these girls that I know will be lifelong.

"Lastly, I have to say it was a great feeling to go from not placing at all in 2016 with it being my first show, to winning my class a year later!"

For the record, Rachael is 5-1 3/4 tall; weighs 110 lbs for competition; weighs 120 to 125 lbs off-season; and her age is 30.


Kat Marthaller - Bikini

No surprise that Kat Marthaller, at 5-10, found herself in the tallest bikini class, Bikini H. Starting prep at 165 pounds, she hit the stage at 145 pounds for her Emerald Cup debut and placed sixth.

"A highlight for me was the fact that I got the guts to get on stage again. I was so proud that I had made it to the Emerald Cup! I also was so thankful my coach, teammates and friends were able to travel from Boise to attend the show! I am excited to bring another, improved package next year!"

Follow Kat on Instagram

Kat Marthaller - Bikini

Jennie Bowden - Physique B 

For Jennie, 2017 marked her Emerald Cup debut. She started her competitive career in May 2014.

"Having the opportunity to be a part of a prestigious competition is a memory in itself. I enjoyed meeting new people who share the passions in life and understand what you went through to get to where you are. There are so many people you meet who are feeling the same nerves you are; it's a calming realization that you’re not alone.

"Also, the amount of friends from my gym who came to support me was humbling; I'm extremely thankful to have them in my life. They inspire me to continue to do my best everyday."

For the record, Jennie is 33; stands 5-4; competes between 125 lbs to 130 lbs; and weighs 140 lbs to 145 lbs off-season.

See Jennie on stage at Emerald Cup 2017 here YouTube

Follow Jennie on Instagram  

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