Ten minutes later a chagrined McGhee brought word of what he called "a slight mistake. We got the winner wrong. It should have been Kay Baxter."
The announcer had read the wrong scores. Schriner had led her weight division coming into the evening, McGhee explained, and Baxter had led hers, with two fewer points. But Baxter easily won the posing competition, making Schriner second and Lusko third. "It wasn't the announcer's fault," McGhee said.
Someone ran to retrieve the winner's trophy from Schriner, catching her as she was leaving the building.
Baxter was telling people, "This is real bodybuilding. The one in Pennsylvania was just a beauty contest for athletes. They didn't want men's poses, but you can't show muscles without them. I guess they don't think muscles are feminine, but that will change as we become more familiar with what athletic women look like."
That statement served as a fitting conclusion to the second Annual U.S. Women's National Physique Championship, the last women's bodybuilding competition of the decade. Now the sport could have a brand-new start.
It needed one.