LAS VEGAS -- California lived up to its Golden State nickname at the 2012 National Beard and Moustache Championships held Nov. 11 in Las Vegas, taking home six first-place wins and 17 medals overall from the 54 awarded across 18 different categories of mustache, partial beard and full beard.
More than 340 whiskered warriors from 44 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and five other nations (Austria, Canada, Great Britain, Germany and Switzerland) gathered at the Clark County Government Center Amphitheater and whisked their whiskers past a five-person panel of judges (including, by way of full disclosure, this facial-hair aficionado) over the course of nearly six hours.
Washington was the state with the second-highest medal count with two first place wins and five medals overall. Other noteworthy achievements came from the visiting German competitors, who took home two golds, a silver and a bronze, and the first-ever gold medal win by a Canadian competitor (and, if our memory serves correctly, the first ever medal of any kind won by our neighbors to the north in the three annual national competitions).
The full results, listed in descending order from gold to silver to bronze, are:
- Adam Orcutt, Michigan City, Ind.
- Wolfgang Schneider, Oppenweiler, Germany
- Adam Scott Paul, Los Angeles
- Patrick Fette, Erlanger, Kentucky
- Dustin Reese, Fresno, California
- Brian Werle, Napa, California
- Max Pankow, Berlin
- Matt Bilfield, Los Angeles
- Ian Stettler, Lake Station, Ind.
- Steve McQuaide, Burbank
- James McMahon, Milwaukee
- Jackie Ellison, Houston
- Ross Steidel, Lahaina, Hawaii
- Jim Downing, Springfield, Mo.
- Benjamin Upshur, Olympia, Wash.
- Dan Lawlor, Los Angeles
- Devon Holcombe, Jacksonville, Fla.
- Adam Bierton, Rochester, N.Y.
- Guy Thompson, Port Angeles, Wash.
- Patrick Dawson, Seattle
- Brian Damaged, Miami
- Mark Wojo Wrzesniewski, Toronto, Ontario
- Lutz Giese, Berlin
- Sean Raiger, Sacramento
Imperial Partial Beard
- Steve Scarpa, Tehachapi, Calif.
- Anthony Fontes, San Jose
- Michael Ryan, Tucson
- Al Underwood, Los Angeles
- Brian VanBallegooie, Saratoga Springs, Utah
- David Ryan, Chicago
- Toot Joslin, Carnelian Bay, Calif.
- Nate Johnson, North Hollywood
- M.J. Johnson, Columbia Heights, Minn.
- Dave Perry, Miami
- Matt MacLean, Costa Mesa, Calif.
- Eric Jasson, Fountain Valley, Calif.
Freestyle Partial Beard
- Kevin Riordan, Las Vegas
- Aaron Holley, Clovis, Calif.
- Austin Buchanan, Clearwater, Fla.
Full Beard Natural
- Neil Moherman, Jeromesville, Ohio
- Bob Engle, Newberg, Ore.
- Bryan Nelson, Austin, Texas
Full Beard with Styled Moustache
- Burke Kenny, Olympia, Wash.
- Grizzly Stonewall Jackson, Beulaville, N.C.
- Rob Hollerman, Boise, Idaho
Full Beard Verdi
- Jeffrey Moustache, Los Angeles
- Tyler Shannon, Seattle
- Charlie Roos, Uetliburg, Switzerland
Full Beard Garibaldi
- Fritz Sendlhofer, Zell am See Austria
- Robert Teddy Thompson, Las Vegas
- Brandon Dove, Woodsborogh, Md.
Full Beard Freestyle
- Hans-Peter Weis, Pforzheim, Germany
- Aarne Bielefeldt, Willits, Calif.
- Gerhardt Knapp, Pforzheim, Germany
In addition, at the end of the competition, a crowd favorite was chosen from among the 18 gold medalists as judged by applause. That award -- and the $1,000 check that went with it -- went to Garibaldi winner, lederhosen-clad Austrian beardsman Fritz Sendlhofer.
The last order of business at the 2012 National Beard and Moustache Championships was the announcement, by Phil Olsen, organizer and self-appointed captain of Beard Team USA, of the location of the fourth annual competition, which he revealed is scheduled to take place on Sept. 7, 2013, in New Orleans.