Tiffany Mickalson: New IPL Bikini Pro, Overall Bikini Winner & Natural Bikini Magazine Sponsored Athlete!
Interview By Ben Yosef | Michael Brooks Photography
The Bikini division was STACKED at the 2017 2nd Annual IPL Arizona Championship & Tawnya Cline Natural Bikini Magazine Classic on May 28th in Mesa, AZ. Bikini Open featured three classes. First up in the Open was Class A.
IPL newcomer (and first time competitor), Tiffany Mickalson, brought her A-game…and then some. Tiffany charged her way to the top spot in this class, earning her IPL Bikini Pro Card. Shout out to Danielle Vega (2nd) and Ludivine Vachet (3rd) who rounded out the top three.
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, Tiffany Mickalson landed on the front cover of the Natural Bikini Magazine Summer 2017 issue. How is that for a Bikini debut!?
“I never expected to go home with any hardware. So, it still takes my breath away seeing my medals and my crystal plaques.”
It will be VERY exciting to see Tiffany Mickalson share the stage with IPL Bikini Pros like Elli Sigala, Naia Day, Beth Cote, Aurore Cottet, Amber Daniell, Annie Minkler, and Ashley Quakenbush. 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 NAILD it. Her cheer theme was fun and exiting. 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 1st place, and became the IPL’s newest Women’s Sports Model Pro.
BEN YOSEF: Tiffany! Congrats on your massively incredible showing at the IPL Arizona Championship! You were so amazing at that show. Have you come down off the high from that day yet? [laughs]
TIFFANY MICKALSON: Thank you so much! It’s still pretty unbelievable to be honest. I went into this show simply hoping to place in the top five and try out my T-walk. I never expected to go home with any hardware. So it still takes my breath away seeing my medals and my crystal plaques. I’m running out of people to show them too!
BEN: Ha! That’s awesome! You have a great physique and your stage presence really stood out. Were you feeling pretty confident up there?
TIFFANY: You should have seen me during our dress rehearsal the week before! I was a complete wreck. I was unsteady, I was shaking uncontrollably while trying to hit my poses. And all we were doing was practicing in front of our coaches and teammates.
“So I am constantly trying to improve in that area. I do a lot of squats, fire hydrants, cable kick backs, weighted lunges, as well as experimenting on the machines.”
So I was definitely nervous when it came time for the competition. But, after doing the initial run through I felt great when it came time to really strut my stuff that evening. As the night went on, I just felt more and more comfortable and confident.
BEN: That’s so funny. You totally looked like a natural up there! Like, totally experienced. Another area where you really pulled ahead of the pack was your back pose. What is your back, glute and leg training like?
TIFFANY: That still surprises me when I hear someone compliment my back side! I don’t see anything significant about it. But then again, I’m not the judge. I don’t know what the judges are looking for. I used to be very self-conscious about it. Thinking my glutes weren’t big enough…my legs are too skinny. Social media body standards can really get a girl down. [laughs] etc.
So I am constantly trying to improve in that area. I do a lot of squats, fire hydrants, cable kick backs, weighted lunges, as well as experimenting on the machines. I still have to read the instructions on what it targets and how to do it properly, so I’m definitely no pro in the gym. I like to try out different things and see what really targets certain muscles. I have yet to actually develop a routine.
Once I have the form down, I really try to do heavy weight with few reps. I thought I read somewhere that helps in building new muscle, whereas light weight with a lot of reps helps to tone muscle. I could be totally wrong though! [laughs]
BEN: Well…whatever you are doing, it seems to be working. [smiles] If you don’t think you are that strong from the back, what would you say is your most stand out feature?
TIFFANY: I’m learning more and more as I go. I would say maybe my core. I felt like I really leaned out and I was just loving how toned my abs looked.
“…in Sports Model I was really trying to convince the crowd that I was this bouncy, peppy cheerleader.”
BEN: You also, kicked butt in Sports Model, winning your IPL PRO CARD there, too. I loved your cheer theme. Did you do anything differently to prepare for Sports Model, compared to prep for Bikini?
TIFFANY: Thank you! I definitely had a different mind set in Sports Model than I did in Bikini. For Bikini I was trying to channel some sort of sexy, confident model. Whereas in Sports Model I was really trying to convince the crowd that I was this bouncy, peppy cheerleader. It was a lot of fun and more relaxed than Bikini.
BEN: I think it is safe to say that we were all convinced. Do you have a background in cheer?
TIFFANY: I did gymnastics in middle school and high school, and I did try cheer my senior year. It was a lot fun, but I mostly just loved the tumbling side of cheer, not so much the yelling rhymes at people. [laughs]
BEN: So, to top off your wins, hardware and IPL PRO CARDS, you also landed a Natural Bikini Magazine Sponsorship. How does that feel?
TIFFANY: It’s like a dream! I always thought it would be so cool to be one of those “fitness girls” you see in all the magazines and to actually be awarded something like that, it’s truly an amazing feeling! I never thought it was something I could achieve. I’m still on cloud nine!
BEN: AND, you also landed on the front cover of this issue. How awesome is that??? How does it feel to see yourself on the cover of Natural Bikini Magazine?
TIFFANY: Also, UNBELIEVABLE! I’m getting it framed! [laughs] This is something I will be forever proud of.
“I’m hoping to make my Pro debut in Tahiti this October!”
BEN: Well, considering you are now a NBM Sponsored Athlete, we will surely be seeing much more of you on the pages of this publication. And, I get the feeling that this is just the first cover for Tiffany Mickalson. [smiles] What is next for you, and when can we expect to see you back on the IPL stage?
TIFFANY: I’m hoping to make my Pro debut in Tahiti this October! If I can’t make it there, then I will most certainly be competing in October here in Mesa!
BEN: So awesome! The IPL Pro Bikini division is super competitive and stacked with so many amazing athletes. Are there any specific IPL Pros that you are looking forward to competing against?
TIFFANY: Definitely my coach, Tawnya Cline! That will be so much fun. She has been such a huge motivator, and it’s so great to have so much support from her and her husband. They are great people!
BEN: Well, you are a very exciting competitor and I look forward to seeing you back on stage. Either in Tahiti or AZ. Congrats again on all of your success! What an incredible Bikini debut!
TIFFANY: Thank you so much for the opportunity! It’s been such a blessing so far. I can’t wait for the next one! BIKINI