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The Item: Contest Results, New IFBB Pro League Cards, Andrew Oye's IFBB Pro Athletes Roundup

The Scoop: Just Announced: Over the weekend, the National Physique Committee's 2012 NPC Masters National Bodybuilding Championships issued new IFBB Pro League cards to athletes in Pittsburgh. Mark Byers won the Super-Heavyweight Class and the Overall 40+ title. Shelby Starnes won the Light-Heavyweight Class and the Overall 35+ title. Also earning qualification for professional status within the International Federation of Bodybuilding & Fitness were class/age-group winners Beau Baisden (Masters Super-Heavyweight 35+), Bryan Pazdzierz (Masters Light-Heavyweight 40+), Al Fricke (Masters Light-Heavyweight 50+) and William Dauber (Masters Middleweight 60+).

The "So What?":
Before leading the pack in Pennsylvania, new IFBB Pro Mark Byers had placed 11th in the Super-Heavyweight Class at the 2008 NPC USA Bodybuilding Championships. Byers had performed better prior to that, placing 1st at both the 2008 NPC California State Championships and the 2007 NPC Flex Wheeler Classic (hosted by 4-time winner of the Arnold Sports Festival's IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships, IFBB Pro Flex Wheeler). Before competing in bodybuilding, Byers pursued a pro football career. "Andew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report" learned that after earning a UNLV scholarship and playing for a year in the Canadian Football League, Byers was picked up by the National Football League's NFL Detroit Lions. Unfortunately, three months later, he broke the same shoulder he had broken about three times before.

Andrew Oye's Verdict:
Apparently, conditioning won the contest for new IFBB Pro Shelby Starnes in the 35+ category, whereas, Mark Byers had a standout structure among the athletes in the 40+ Class at the contest that gave us previous NPC Masters Nationals Champions: wrestler IFBB Pro Andy Haman and powerlifter IFBB Pro Stan Efferding. A high placing -- not to mention a Mr. Olympia title -- at Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend is a lofty goal for an athlete of any age. Yet, if they're ready to face younger competitors, these mature IFBB Pro League athletes might take aim at other mid-tier titles offered via the IFBB Pro Olympia Qualification Series of pro bodybuilding contests.

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