TOP 17 IPL STORIES OF 2017!
Once again, huge THANK YOU to IPL Athletes, Staff, Coaches, Trainers, Vendors, Sponsors, Friends, and Families! Without you, the IPL would not be possible!
Here are the top 17 IPL stories of 2017!
#17 KARL HALL BECOMES THE IPL’S FIRST MEN’S BODYBUILDING PRO CHAMPION.
YES! The time had finally come! The 2017 2nd Annual IPL New Jersey Pro on May 6th in Jersey City, NJ welcomed the IPL’s first EVER Pro Men’s Bodybuilding face-off! And, who were the contenders??? IPL Pros Karl Hall and David Boutros.
Up for grabs in New Jersey were the five inch custom IPL 1st place Pro medal, Pro Cup, $$$, title belt, free entry into future title bouts, bragging rights, and a chance to make history by becoming the IPL’s first ever Men’s Bodybuilding Pro Champion.
Hall’s sharp conditioning, rugged muscularity, and the full, round, 3-D effect of his physique dominated. That being said, David Boutros pushed hard and actually won two of the six scored categories (Posing/Presentation, and suit). But, the other four rounds belonged to Hall (Muscularity, Symmetry, Conditioning and Routine at Finals).
With this win, Hall became the man to beat in IPL Pro Men’s Bodybuilding. In order to retain his title he must put the belt on the line in at least one regular season Pro show, as well as IPL APEX (year-end pinnacle championship event). Hall would go on to battle it out at the North Atlantic/USA Pro in September and APEX in November. The title is still his.
Is what Karl Hall brings to the stage too much to handle or will IPL Pros like Justin Baker, Cobe Mouton, Chris Brown, Brian Lorenz, Vincent Tinerino or Richard Puou be able to push the champ? It will certainly be exciting to find out!
#16 ABIGAIL COMSTOCK IS BACK ON STAGE JUST FIVE MONTHS AFTER GIVING BIRTH TO HER SECOND CHILD.
Abigail Comstock first appeared on the IPL stage at the May 2016 California Championship in Sacramento, CA. competing in both Bikini (Novice & Open) as well as Sports Model (Novice & Open). At that contest she placed 1st in Bikini Novice Class E and won Sports Model Novice. And, she was two months pregnant at the time!
Abigail gave birth to her second child later that year on December 1st. Only 5.5 months would pass from that birth date before Abigail was back on stage at the May 2017 2nd Annual IPL California Championship in Rancho Cordova, CA …and looking AMAZING!
Not only that, but Abigail was one of the busiest competitors of that show, entering five classes. Her impressive outing yielded 1st place in Bikini Mommas 0 To Under 1 and 2nd place in Bikini Novice Class B, Bikini Open Class B, Sports Model Novice and Sports Model Open.
Abigail was then featured in the Summer 2017 issue of Natural Bikini Magazine sharing her incredibly inspiring story.
#15 SUNNY MILLER SHINES
At 47 years young (and a mother of five) Sunny Miller decided to enter the world of Physique Competition. In 2017 she would step on stage for the very first time, choosing the 2017 2nd Annual IPL California Championship on May 20th in Rancho Cordova, CA.
Miller was one of the most prolific athletes to hit the IPL Cali stage. She presented one of the most impressive physiques of the show with full, round, muscularity. Good conditioning, and a style of presentation that was an inspiring blend of elegant maturity and timeless youthfulness.
Then, earning the highest scores of the class in all six categories (Muscularity, Symmetry, Conditioning, Posing & Presentation, Suit and Model Walk at finals), Sunny Miller took 1st place in Bikini Masters 40+ Class B, earning her IPL Bikini Masters Pro Card.
Next it was on to Bikini Masters Overall. The Overall showdown featured four of the best Bikini Masters competitors the sport has ever seen. Masters 60+ winner Vickie Francovich, 50+ winner Elly Niezen, 40+ Class A winner Karen DeMarco, and 40+ Class B winner Sunny Miller. It was once again Sunny for the win and the Overall Bikini Masters title.
THEN, carrying a tremendous amount of momentum, Miller would join the Bikini Open division. Facing off against Brilliant Bikini Beauties, some decades younger, Miller prevailed in Bikini Open Class B, earning 1st place honors as well as her IPL Bikini Open Pro Card.
Thennnn came the Bikini Open Overall. It was here what Miller’s incredible run ended in a highly competitive and incredibly exciting pose down between Miller and Ashley Quakenbush (Bikini Open Class A winner). In the end it was Ashley Quakenbush who would earn the Overall title. But, Miller’s reign in Cali did not end there. She would reappear in another division, a couple of hours later.
As with every IPL contest event, the final division to be presented is the elegant Evening Gown division. And, in Cali, this division was STACKED. Included were Novice, Masters 50+, Masters 40+, and Open. And in Cali, one woman OWNED this division. Sunny Miller. After Winning her IPL PRO CARD in Bikini Masters, and Open, Sunny Miller reemerged in Evening Gown. An overflow of adjectives can be used to describe what Sunny presented on the Evening Gown stage in California. Elegant… Regal… Stunning… Radiant… to list a few.
From her choice of gown (a double-slitted black number which received perfect 10’s across the judging panel) to her amazing physique, to her superb posing and presentation, Sunny Miller brought the IPL Evening Gown division to new heights. Needless to say, Miller clenched 1st place in Masters 40+ and IPL MASTERS PRO CARD, and Open 1st place and IPL OPEN PRO CARD.
Shout out to Elly Niezen, who was the best we have seen her on the IPL stage, and who also presented a fantastic look, which earned her 1st place in Evening Gown Masters 50+. This win landed her in the Masters Overall, where she then presented quite a challenge to Sunny. But in the end, it was Miller for the Overall title.
Four months later Sunny had her IPL Pro Bikini Debut at the West Coast Pro/Am where she placed 3rd. And she debuted in Pro Evening Gown and earned her first IPL Pro win there. With these placements, Sunny Miller was now qualified to compete at APEX, the IPL’s year-end pinnacle championship event, against some of the best Pros in the league.
At APEX Sunny would face top IPL athletes, ages ranging from 24 to 49. In the end Sunny would earn 4th place at Pro Bikini APEX and 2nd place at Pro Evening Gown APEX.
Was an incredible first year for Sunny Miller. One can only imagine what year two will look like for her.
#14 FIRST IPL FITNESS ANGEL PRO CHAMPIONS
The IPL Fitness Angels division has existed since the league’s launch, two years ago. And, there have been many athletes who earned Pro status in this division. However, it would take two years for us to see IPL Fitness Angels take to the Pro stage. And, yes, it was worth the wait.
Lylian Muttakyawa was Magical in Pro Fitness Angels at the 2nd Annual IPL West Coast Pro on Saturday September 30th in Rancho Cordova, CA. The IPL’s first ever Pro Fitness Angels showdown did not disappoint. And boy, was it close between Lylian Muttakyawa and Elli Sigala. In the end, Lylian Muttakyawa was able to pull ahead earning 154 points (out a max 180). Sigala in 2nd with 147. With that, Lylian Muttakyawa earned her first IPL Pro title and became the IPL’s first ever Fitness Angels Pro Champion.
The next Pro Fitness Angels sighting would occur at the IPL’s first Pro international contest in Tahiti, French Polynesia on Saturday October 14th. At the Tahiti Pro, Aurore Cottet (who had just landed on the Fall 2017 cover of Natural Bikini Magazine sporting her wings in a photo captured backstage at the May 2017 Arizona Pro where she won her IPL Fitness Angels Pro Card) was equally as magnificent as Muttakyawa.
In Tahiti, it would come down to Cottet and Dore DeBartolo (who traveled all the way from Midwest, USA to compete in Tahiti). In a beautiful battle, Aurore managed to pull ahead by 10 points, landing in 1st place, and earned her first IPL Pro win. With this win, Aurora Cottet became only the second woman to earn this Pro title.
Finally, back on US soil on October 29th, was the 2nd Annual IPL Southwest Grand Prix Pro. Here Aurore Cottet, carrying momentum fresh off her Pro win two weeks prior, would travel back to Arizona and face Mimi Irvin. Mimi had just earned her IPL Fitness Angels Pro Card in August at the 2nd Annual IPL Texas state Pro/Am in Houston.
In Arizona, Aurore was within striking distance of achieving her second Pro title. But Mimi managed to pull ahead by a narrow 3 point margin, earning 193 to Aurore’s 190. And with that Mimi Irvin earned her first IPL Pro win, becoming only the third woman to earn an IPL Pro Fitness Angels Pro title.
What an exciting first year for Pro Fitness Angels. With all of the incredible talent in this Pro division, including many who earned Pro status during the 2017 season, it will be exciting to see what happens in 2018!
#13 FIRST IPL PRO EVENING GOWN CHAMPIONS
As with the IPL Fitness Angels division, Evening Gown has existed since the league’s launch two years ago. Also with many athletes who have earned Pro status in this division. And, just like with Fitness Angels, it would take nearly two years for us to see IPL Evening Gown take to the Pro stage. What a fantastic debut the 2017 season was.
First up, was the 2017 2nd Annual IPL Arizona Pro on May 28th in Mesa, AZ. The first ever IPL Pro Evening Gown showdown was just as thrilling as one would imagine. At the top of this highly competitive division was Elli Sigala and Beth Cote. The maximum number of points to achieve in AZ was 240. Both Sigala and Cote tied for 1st place with 221 each, one of the highest score totals of the entire contest.
In the IPL, ties are broken by a pose down. And what a pose down it was between these two amazing athletes. However, in the end, it was Sigala that landed 1st place. And, along with that, the historic distinction of becoming the IPL’s first ever Pro Evening Gown Champion.
Next, Julia Hubbard was stunning at the 2017 3rd Annual IPL North Atlantic Championship and USA Pro on September 24th in Ridgefield, CT. After earning her Evening Gown Masters Pro Card at the May 2017 IPL New Jersey Pro/Am, Hubbard was ready for her Pro debut just four months later.
In Connecticut she would face-off in the IPL’s first ever Evening Gown Masters Pro showdown with the equally stunning and elegant IPL Pro Victoria Guthrie. Both are consummate Professionals, who delivered exciting performances in this division. However, Hubbard had the edge, winning five of the six scored categories: Muscularity, Symmetry, Conditioning, Posing & Presentation and Gown. The only round she did not win was the Model Walk at Finals. That one was dominated by Guthrie.
Needless to say, Julia Hubbard was victorious, becoming the IPL’s first ever Evening Gown Masters Pro Champion.
Then, there was Sunny Miller. Just four months after Sunny earned her IPL Evening Gown Pro Card, she was on stage for her Pro Debut at the 2017 2nd Annual IPL West Coast Pro on Saturday September 30th in Rancho Cordova, CA.
Miller was magnificent, earning her first IPL Pro title. Shout out to the impressive Lylian Muttakyawa who placed just 5 points behind Miller, landing in 2nd.
Then it was Julia Hubbard, once again. This time at the 2nd Annual IPL Grand Prix Pro in Phoenix AZ on Sunday October 29th in Phoenix AZ. This was Hubbard’s third IPL contest of the season. And, believe it or not, of her three shows Julia had brought her best look yet. Many believe, up to that point, her best look to date from both her 2016 and 2017 IPL seasons.
Julia would face off with none other than top IPL Pro Naia Day. In the end Hubbard was able to pull away with a solid 8 point lead, earning her second Pro Masters Evening Gown title.
Finally it was APEX, the IPL’s year-end pinnacle championship event on November 19th in Sacramento, CA. APEX would feature elegant Evening Gown battles in both Open and Masters.
In Masters it was once again Julia Hubbard for the win, earning her third title in the division. And with this, solidifying herself as the Queen of IPL Pro Masters Evening Gown, becoming the first ever APEX Pro Masters Evening Gown Champion.
And, in the Open, it was Elli Sigala for second win. And, with her win, becoming the IPL’s first ever APEX Pro Evening Gown Champion. What a great accomplishment, in addition to becoming the first athlete to earn a Pro Evening Gown title earlier in the year.
What an Incredibly exciting debut season for IPL Pro Evening Gown. It gives you chills thinking about what 2018 will be like.
#12 AULET VERSUS KANG IN PRO MEN’S ATHLETIC
The stage was set. The 2017 3rd Annual IPL North Atlantic & USA Pro in Ridgefield Connecticut on September 24th. Angel Autlet earned his first IPL Pro Men’s Athletic title on this very stage one year prior. A story which landed at #11 on the Top 16 IPL Stories Of 2016. However, Aulet would be forced to sit patiently on his throne, waiting for a contender… Until the arrival of Kang.
Andrew Kang first touched down on the IPL stage at the March 2017 Natural Gainz Magazine Classic in Manhattan New York. An impressive Kang splashed onto the IPL scene with plenty of excitement, earning his IPL Pro Card in the process. Shortly after, Kang’s story landed in the Summer 2017 issue of NATURALMAG. Then, he would announce his entry into the North Atlantic and USA Pro. At this contest he would face the reigning champ, Angel Aulet.
Massive excitement would build leading into the show. Why? Well, of the dozens of IPL Men’s Athletic Pros, Andrew Kang appeared to be one of the top athletes believed capable of dethroning the champ. Kang brings crazy full, ballooning muscle bellies. Aulet comes in very lean, and he dominates in posing with his creative style. But wait… Aulet also comes in pretty full. And hang on… Kang is also lean, with a dominating posing style. Oh mannn, this was going to be good.
The excitement, media, and hype leading up to the battle reached a fever pitch. A pitch only matched by the excitement of the actual show. In one of the most exciting IPL Men’s Athletic Pro showdowns to date, the battle between Aulet and Kang did not disappoint. Heading into Finals there was only a one point difference between 1st and 2nd. So, it would all come down to posing at Finals. Trust me when I tell you, it was a nail-biter.
In the end, Aulet pulled ahead at Finals and emerged victorious, earning his second IPL Men’s Athletic Pro title. At this time of this writing, Aulet is the only man to hold two titles in IPL Pro Men’s Athletic.
The gracious Andrew Kang handled defeat with class. There are many who believe that Kang was the better man in Connecticut. It will certainly be exciting to see these men battle again. Hopefully we will get to see this in 2018.
#11 THE ARRIVAL OF TIFFANY MICKALSON
The Bikini division was STACKED at the 2017 2nd Annual IPL Arizona Championship on May 28th in Mesa, AZ. At that contest IPL newcomer (and first time competitor), Tiffany Mickalson, brought her A-game…and then some.
Tiffany charged her way to the top spot in Novice Class A, and the same in Open Class A as she earned her IPL Bikini Pro Card. Then, it was on to the Bikini Open Overall pose down.
The Overall would feature three class winners, and was a heck of a battle. In the end, Tiffany proved too much to handle, as she earned the Overall title. And, for being the Bikini Competitor to earn the highest point total (224 out of a max of 240) in Bikini Open, Tiffany was awarded a one-year Natural Bikini Magazine Sponsorship. AND, just two weeks later, landed on the front cover of the Natural Bikini Magazine Summer 2017 issue. Check out the full cover story feature here. How is that for a Bikini debut!?
AND…. Tiffany was not done in Arizona, yet…
The final mark Mickalson made in Mesa was in Women’s Sports Model Open. In the same stunning fashion as Bikini, Tiffany NAILED it. Her cheer theme was fun and exciting. And her scores reflected this. Tiffany earned a perfect score (40 out of 40) in Posing & Presentation, and near perfect scores (39’s) in Symmetry & Model Walk. When the dust settled Tiffany Mickalson had won each of the scored categories, earned 230 out of a Max 240 total points landing her in 1st place, and became the IPL’s newest Women’s Sports Model Pro.
5 months later Mickalson would travel to the South Pacific for the IPL’s first Pro international contest in Tahiti, French Polynesia on Saturday October 14th. At the Tahiti Pro, Tiffany would face-off with some of the IPL’s best Pros in both Bikini and Sports Model. Although Mickalson would have to settle for 3rd in both Pro divisions in Tahiti, she was definitely a crowd pleaser.
Tiffany’s “coming from outta nowhere” splash onto the IPL scene was certainly exciting in 2017. We can’t wait to see what she has in store for the 2018 season!
#10 CEREBRAL PALSY BODYBUILDER, SAM MOGRABI, INSPIRES
The IPL’s Inspiration Dedication division was created for anyone with an inspiring story. For example, incredible amount of weight loss, disease, illness, trauma, etc. This gives the competitor an opportunity to share their success, and inspire those watching to what is possible when you never give up.
26 year old Bodybuilder, Sam Mograbi’s incredibly inspiring performance stole the show at the 2017 IPL SOCAL CLASSIC on Saturday, September 9th in Brea , CA.
Sam is an athlete, inventor, and author. He has cerebral palsy due to a lack of oxygen during birth. Despite the challenge of limited ability to control his movements, or walk, Sam has committed himself to building his strength through hard work and a dedication to fitness. Sam started training at age 14
And, with the challenges that this young man faces every day, he maintains a positive outlook, positive energy, and has built an impressive physique.
IPL Bikini & Evening Gown Pro Sunny Miller, who was presenting awards at the contest, managed to capture a video of Sam’s routine at Finals. Not only did Sam’s performance bring down the house, but Sunny’s video ended up receiving 65,000+ likes, 6,000+ comments, and 47,000+ shares. And, these numbers are still growing! WOW!
Apparently Sam has wanted to compete on stage for as long as he can remember. On the IPL stage he was able to fulfill his dream. And, in the process, inspire people all across the world to dream. We are sure this is not the last you will hear from Sam. It’s just the beginning.
#9 ONYANGO OWNS IPL PRO FIGURE AND PRO WOMEN’S ATHLETIC
IPL Pro Mary Onyango is a force to be reckoned with. Ever since Mary splashed onto the IPL stage at last Year’s 2016 New York Pro/Am, where she earned her Pro Card in Figure and Athletic in stunning fashion, she has been on a meteoric rise to the top.
After earning her first IPL Pro Women’s Athletic title in her Pro Debut at last year’s 2016 North Atlantic Pro, Mary would take a full year off before returning to the stage.
First up in 2017 was a repeat at the North Atlantic. Here she would face Julia Hubbard, who traveled all the way from Spain to compete in the US. The two would battle it out in both Pro Figure and Pro Athletic. In the end it was Mary landing 1st place in both, taking her Pro title count to three.
Then it was on to APEX II, the IPL’s Year-end Pinnacle Championship Event in November. At APEX Mary Onyango raked in two more Pro titles, and in the process became the IPL’s first ever Pro Figure and Pro Women’s Athletic APEX champion. Pro title count = five.
Mary Onyango is often the competitor who scores the highest point total of all athletes in all divisions of the entire show when she competes. Including perfect or near-perfect scores in her Model Walks and Routines at Finals. With the package that Onyango brings to the stage, in addition to her dynamic posing and Model Walks, she continues to be very hard to beat.
Bottom line… Mary Onyango is Queen Bee in IPL Pro Figure and Pro Women’s Athletic. At least, for now.
The question is, who stands a chance to dethrone the queen? Who will push Mary Onyango the hardest in 2018? Figure Pros such as Yady Cedeno, Alisha Gray, Christy Byxbee, Doré DeBartolo, Betty Guerrero, Kaylin Payne, Misti Love Sowell? Women’s Athletic Pros such as Brittany Warner, Kaylin Payne, Doré DeBartolo, Kristy Janak, Heather Randall, Ilana Lea, Luinil Estrellas Demesy?
2018 will certainly will be an incredibly exciting year!
Oh, and before year 2017 is over, there is another MAJOR Mary Onyango surprise! Stay tuned!
#8 JUMPING JULIA HUBBARD…TRAVELING HYBRID PRO CHAMPION
Julia Hubbard’s first IPL contest was the September 2016 Southwest Grand Prix in Arizona. At that contest she placed 1st in Figure Open, 1st in Women’s Athletic Open, and 1st in Women’s Sports Model Masters 40+. And, she won her IPL Pro Card in all three divisions. Impressive, Indeed. However, 2017 would be the year that Julia would put herself to the test. And that she did…in splendid fashion.
In 2017 Julia Hubbard was by far the most active athlete on the IPL circuit. Similar to IPL Pro Naia Day’s 2016 activity level – which landed Naia at #9 on the Top 16 IPL stories of 2016. In 2017 Julia would shift between 4 divisions, 4 IPL shows, across 4 states, including APEX – the IPL’s Year-end Pinnacle Championship Event. Resulting in 7 IPL Pro titles. Not only all that, but Julia is based in Spain and travels to the US to compete. Wow.
Julia’s 2017 journey started with her IPL Pro debut in Women’s Athletic at the May 2017 IPL New Jersey Pro, where she won her first IPL Pro title. At that contest she also won her IPL Pro Cards in Figure Masters, Athletic Masters, and Evening Gown Masters.
Rumor has it that Julia Hubbard will be slowing down a bit for the 2018 contest season. That being said, no matter what she decides or how active she is, there will forever be a place on the IPL stage for Julia Hubbard…and in the IPL history books.
#7 IPL’s TALK RADIO PODCAST
In January of this year a major announcement was made. The IPL would broadcast a weekly talk radio show. Every Wednesday night, listeners from all around the world could tune in and learn more about the IPL. Topics would include IPL judging standards, detailed division descriptions and explanations, contest coverage and reviews, athlete interviews and more.
The amount of excitement surrounding IPL Talk Radio was incredible. The number of tune-ins and on demand listens was amazing. The show would run for 14 episodes from January through May. But, then what happened???
Well…the 2017 contest season happened. With all of the IPL activity across the country and internationally, IPL Talk Radio was put on hold.
But, guess what?!? IPL Talk Radio will be back for the 2018 season! Beginning in February the podcast will kick back off, covering the entire year! Boooom! Stay tuned!
For now, feel free to listen to the on demand episodes from 2017!
#6 IPL SOCAL
The IPL is not about spreading as far, wide and fast as possible. Instead, the IPL is about offering a quality and consistent competition experience at every event. And, this is would be difficult to maintain if growth were to happen too rapidly.
The IPL has a close-knit family vibe. Meaning, the IPL experience offers a warm, friendly, safe, fair, AND competitive environment. With only 14 contests events on the 2017 IPL schedule, this vibe was maintainable. In fact, for the 2017 season, only two new markets were added. Tahiti, French Polynesia (our first international show) and SOCAL.
Needless to say, adding any new contest events has to be carefully thought out, with the above mentioned factors considered. That being said, SOCAL was a great new market to expand into.
#IPLSOCAL peeps banded together to make this show happen. And, what a fantastic time it was! There was so much incredible energy surrounding this contest from the moment it was announced, all the way to show day, and after.
A few highlights are three new IPL Pros: Beatrice Igeria (Bikini Open), Tony Mena (Men’s Athletic Open), Amyrica Centeno (Evening Gown Open), as well as the amazingly inspirational Sam Mograbi, who’s story landed at #10 on this Top Stories list.
There is so much incredible potential for IPL SOCAL. We are super excited to return for the 2nd Annual SOCAL Classic on April 14 @ Covina Center For The Performing Arts – Covina, Ca. There is no doubt the return to SoCal will even be more amazing!
#5 THE ELLI EFFECT
After earning her Fitness Angels & Evening Gown Pro Cards earlier in 2016, Arizona-based Elli Sigala competed at November 2016 APEX in Los Angeles CA, where she won her IPL Pro Cards in Bikini & Sports Model. From there, it was on to dominate at the Pro level in 2017.
Shortly after APEX Elli landed on the cover of the spring 2017 issue of Natural Bikini Magazine.
Elli then made her IPL Pro Debut in both Bikini and Evening Gown at the 2017 2nd Annual IPL Arizona Championship in May. At that contest she placed 1st in both divisions. Winning her first Pro Bikini title and becoming the IPL’s first ever Pro Evening Gown Champion. Curious what makes Elli Sigala so amazing? Never seen her in action? Check out this video of her at Finals during the Arizona Pro.
Elli would then travel to Northern California to compete at the 2nd Annual IPL West Coast Pro. At that contest she earned her second Pro Bikini title and also earned her 1st Pro Sports Model title.
Finally, Elli ended her 2017 season at APEX II in Sacramento, CA. At APEX she competed in Pro Bikini, Pro Sports Model, and Pro Evening Gown. She would have to settle for 2nd place in Bikini and Sports Model. However, She placed 1st in Pro Evening Gown, earning her second Pro title in that division and becoming the IPL’s first ever Pro Evening Gown APEX Champion.
All this also make Elli Sigala one of the most winning IPL Pros to date. She has: Two Pro Bikini titles. One Pro Sports Model title. And, two Pro Evening Gown titles.
One can only imagine the effect Elli Sigala will have on the 2018 IPL season!
#4 SUPER TAWNYA
Cline’s first 2017 appearance was at the 2nd Annual IPL Texas State Pro/Am in Houston in August. Here she would enter Pro Masters Bikini AND Amateur Bikini Open. This would be the first time in a full two years that Tawnya Cline had stepped onto the Amateur Bikini Open stage, after placing 3rd at the August 2015 IPL NATURALMAG Classic in Jersey City NJ (the first IPL contest ever held).
In Texas Cline would present a look that, at the time, was arguably her best ever. It was at this contest that Tawnya earned her Pro Card in Bikini Open, taking 1st in the class. She also earned her second Pro Masters Bikini title. Following Texas, it was time to put it all on the line.
Tawnya’s next move was to travel to the South Pacific to compete at the 2017 IPL Tahiti Pro on Saturday October 14th on the island of Tahiti, French Polynesia. It was here that she would, for the first time, enter both Pro Masters and Pro Open classes in the same contest. AND, in both Bikini & Sports Model.
With a physique that topped her Texas look, Cline nabbed 1st place in all four classes, adding four more Pro titles to her collection. This was the first time the world would glimpse the indelible image of a victorious Tawnya Cline clutching four Pro title 1st place IPL trophy cups, while donning accompanying over-sized IPL Pro 1st place medals.
Tawnya finished her year at APEX II (The IPL’s year-end pinnacle championship event) in Sacramento, CA in November. It was at APEX that Cline put the proverbial “cherry on top” of her illustrious year and sealed herself as one of the very best to ever touch down on an IPL stage.
At APEX, Tawnya would go up against some of the best Pros in the league. AND, just as she did in Tahiti a month prior, she would double down….or shall we say quadruple down… entering four Pro classes. Pro Bikini Open & Masters and Pro Sports Model Open & Masters.
The look that Tawnya Cline brought to APEX was, without a doubt, the best we have ever seen from her. Exceeding what she had produced earlier in the season, and at any other time, for that matter.
In Bikini, she was incredible. With her blend of muscle fullness, conditioning, and world-class posing & presentation, Tawnya Cline literally set a new standard for IPL Pro Bikini. And in sports Model, Tawnya took the division to a new height. From outfit, to boom box toting swag, to actually busting breakin’ moves, she absolutely OWNED her “Break dancing” theme and played the part to the end. Never letting up.
At APEX Tawnya Cline would once again snag four Pro titles. And, a few weeks later land on the front cover of Natural Bikini Magazine.
Reacting to her record setting year and physique improvements Tawnya says, “I really set intentions to come in more conditioned and build more muscle. I changed up my nutrition by adding some things, as well as taking others out. I journaled every step of the way so that I could resort back to what was working and what was not, through the 2017 competition year. I made improvements each show.
I don’t allow weather, sleep, or busy schedules to get in the way of my meal prep or fitness. I am so proud of myself for pushing through this year, and not allowing any unwanted outside voices discourage me. I am looking forward to more improvements personally for 2018. When you surround yourself with like-minded individuals, it makes the journey more exciting.”
With 11 total career IPL Pro titles, Tawnya Cline is the most winning IPL Pro on the circuit to date. She has achieved:
- 2 Pro Bikini titles
- 4 Pro Bikini Masters titles
- 3 Pro Sports Model titles
- 2 Pro Sports Model Masters titles
In a close second is IPL Pro Julia Hubbard with 7 IPL Pro titles.
The question now is, will this level of success and domination be in the cards for Cline in 2018? There is no doubt that there will be even more top Pros vying for wins next season. What an exciting year it will be!
#3 IPL TAHITI
In 2017 the IPL would live up to the “I” in the acronym, and head to the beautiful South Pacific island of Tahiti, French Polynesia. Without a doubt the excitement leading up to, and during, #IPLTAHITI was unparalleled in the league’s two year history.
From the very moment the IPL landed on the island the people of Tahiti were so AMAZING and welcoming!
First up was the IPL Tahiti Championship in May. At this contest, tons of incredible athletes hit the #IPLTAHITI stage in front of a sold out crowd. Nearly 800 people were in the building. The IPL welcomed 14 new, well deserving Pros into the league.
The IPL would then return to Tahiti for a second time in 2017. Now for the Tahiti Pro/Am in October, including the IPL’s first international Pro show. Several American IPL Athletes would make to trip to the island to face-off on Tahitian soil. At the Tahiti Pro/Am, three Pros earned titles and 9 athletes gained entry into the IPL Pros.
What an amazing first international experience for the IPL! As the IPL enters its third year, there are now even more international events on the calendar. Including Canada, Africa, Tahiti, and possibly the UK!
#2 IPL APEX II
Capping off the IPL’s second season was APEX II. At APEX, some of the best athletes in the league come together to battle it out in this season finale. In 2017, APEX would take place in the lovely city of Sacramento, CA on November 19th. To make it to this event, athletes would need to qualify by placing top five in a 2017 season IPL contest.
Awesome APEX factoid: In 2016, IPL APEX featured athletes who represented from two countries – USA & Canada. And three states within the USA – Arizona, California and Connecticut. In 2017, APEX II featured athletes from three countries USA, Canada, and Spain. And, five states within the USA – Arizona, California, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin. A special thank you to those who traveled to Sacramento to be a part of this history-making event!
At APEX II, IPL PRO CARDS were awarded to athletes including Rachel Balunsat (Bikini Masters), Chynna Olmos (Bikini Open), Carly Santos (Fitness Angels Masters), Silas Hopkins (Men’s Athletic Open), James Niezen (Men’s Sports Model Open), Elly Niezen (Women’s Sports Model Masters), Kayla Ross (Women’s Sports Model Open – YOUNGEST IPL PRO EVER AT 16 YEARS OLD!), and Frauka Kozar (Evening Gown Masters).
And, APEX PRO Champions were crowned including Mary Onyango (Pro Figure), Tawnya Cline (Pro Bikini Masters), Tawnya Cline (Pro Bikini), Karl Hall (Pro Men’s Bodybuilding), Mary Onyango (Pro Women’s Athletic), Tawnya Cline (Pro Women’s Sports Model Masters), Tawnya Cline (Pro Women’s Sports Model), Julia Hubbard (Pro Evening Gown Masters) and Elli Sigala (Pro Evening Gown).
In the Pros there were plenty of history-making firsts! Mary Onyango as the first ever APEX Pro Figure & Pro Women’s Athletic Champion. Karl Hall as the first ever APEX Pro Men’s Bodybuilding Champion. Tawnya Cline as the first ever Pro Women’s Sports Model Open & Masters Champion. Julia Hubbard as the first ever Pro Evening Gown Masters Champion. Elli Sigala as the first ever Pro Evening Gown Champion.
APEX II also saw a “changing of the guard” in Pro Bikini as Tawnya Cline seized the thrown from a still stellar as always Naia Day. And a 2X APEX winner, as Tawnya Cline retained her Pro Masters Bikini title from from APEX I.
APEX certainly succeeded one again in serving as the perfect cherry on top of an incredible IPL contest season. One can only imagine what 2018 has in store!
Be sure to check out the Spring 2018 Issue of NATURALMAG featuring complete APEX contest coverage, as well as exclusive interviews with each of the APEX Pro Champions.
Check out last year’s countdown here!
#1 MICHAEL BROOKS PHOTOGRAPHY
The number one IPL story of 2017 is not really a story at all. Similar to what landed at #1 on last year’s list. However, for 2017 we focus on the artist. The photographer that has captured countless amazing and inspiring images of IPL athletes and events.
In the history of Physique Competition/Bodybuilding there has never been such a massive effort to showcase true drug-free athletes, until now. IPL Social Media Posts, Website Posts, Magazine Covers, Magazine Articles, Features and more. And with the launch of print versions of all four magazine titles, the game has completely changed. All images captured by Michael Brooks Photography.
By design, the IPL is synonymous with media. There would be no IPL without the initiative to simultaneously promote and provide exposure for our athletes. The IPL is so much more than Pro Cards, trophies and medals. This league is part of a media machine that celebrates and shares stories of true, drug-free athletes for their amazing hard work. The IPL is promoting ambassadors of health and fitness. The IPL is showcasing natural, drug-free rock stars and creating household names in fitness.
And, Michael Brooks Photography is at the center…the heart of this effort.
THIS is the International Physique League. Here we come 2018!
–Ben Yosef | IPL President & Founder
THE INTERNATIONAL PHYSIQUE LEAGUE (IPL)
The International Physique League is a competitive fitness federation celebrating top “Natural”/drug-tested physiques from around the Globe! The IPL offers 7 Pro Qualifying divisions of competition including Bodybuilding, Figure, Athletic, Sports Model, Fitness Angels, Bikini, & Evening Gown.
The IPL maintains the “sport feel” of Physique Competition and we will never veer away from that. We are a sport league and will maintain the integrity and spirit of competitive sporting events. The IPL is not a “Pageant-style” federation. We are also not a bare-bones, nitty gritty operation either. That being said, we do like a little flash and flair and as part of a media company we are looking to create and promote ambassadors who represent true health and fitness.
The IPL is wholly owned by MiBoLife Publishing, the leader in publicity, news, and media for drug-tested Physique Competition. IPL athletes, contests, and events are featured in the following magazine publications: NATURALMAG, NATURAL BIKINI, NATURAL GAINZ & VIGOROUS. Four magazines. Tons of potential cover models and countless articles, features, and spreads. Our official photographers are always on site capturing the incredible energy and excitement, and looking for the next superstars.