Jul. 12—POTTSVILLE — The Mr. Anthracite Natural and Mr. Coal Natural bodybuilding competition returned Sunday to recognize bodybuilders from the coal region.
Warren Egebo, contest promoter, said it was great to be back in the Pottsville Ramada Inn after last year’s event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s really powerful to be back here after COVID, and for the competitors who had to work out in their homes when they couldn’t go to the gym,” Egebo said. “It’s a celebration of the coal region and these hardworking men, who would certainly be fit to be in the mines.”
Egebo said this year’s competition had the largest number of competitors, with 16 contestants from Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York.
“Some have been working out for years, while some just started in the past year and a half,” Egebo said.
The contest is held by the National Gym Association, and contestants must train without the use of drugs to be eligible. They are judged in weight classes and overall categories.
Taking home the top awards and pro cards to move on to future competitions were Mr. Anthracite Tony Diana, of Clarks Summit; Mr. Coal Jeffrey Harrison, of Webster, New York; and overall men’s physique Timothy Williams, of Baltimore, Maryland.
Richard Widmer, of Yardley, Pennsylvania, won awards for best abs and best poser.
During the program, Egebo also presented an award to David A. Lucas Jr., of Hegins, in memorial of Lucas’ parents, Lorraine and David Lucas Sr., who died in a car accident last year.
Egebo said Lucas Sr. was a member of the Independent Coal Miners Association and presented his hard hat and pick axe at the first Mr. Anthracite competition in 2013.
Lucas Jr. presented the Mr. Anthracite and Mr. Coal awards, with commemorative hard hats and pick axes.
Egebo, who was the former pastor of Friedens Evangelical Lutheran Church, Hegins, and St. James Lutheran Church, Pitman before retiring to Green Bay, Wisconsin, said it was fun to be back in Pottsville, “the coal capital of the anthracite region,” for the contest.