Results of the 2011 National Beard and Moustache Championships
In all, more than 200 bearded and mustachioed guys, ranging in age from 16 to 66 and hailing from 35 U.S. states and a handful of foreign countries -- as close as Canada and as far flung as New Zealand -- descended on the heart of Amish country for a facial-hair faceoff that, while it recognized some of the circuit's familiar faces, resulted in crowning a fresh crop of tonsorial talent, many of whom had been introduced to the world of competitive beard sports through the IFC Channel’s recent “Whisker Wars” comedy-documentary series.
Los Angeles, traditionally well-represented in the Moustache category, failed to place, with the top
But the Golden State contingent had a strong showing in the Partial Beard category where Tahoe City’s Toot Joslin, who won the category at last year's nationals, retained his first-place title, and newcomer Nathan Johnson of Burbank took third place, finishing just behind Bill Mitchell of Hinesburg, Ga., who took second, just months after winning gold in the Partial Beard Freestyle category at the World Beard and Moustache Championships in Trondheim, Norway, in May (categories can vary by competition).
Another local, Burbank’s John Myatt, who earned a silver in the Verdi Beard category in Trondheim, took an impressive first place win for Full Beard Groomed, a category that had been added since last year’s first national competition in Bend, Ore., for shorter beards that have been shaped by grooming, trimming and the use of styling products (as opposed to Full Beard Natural, a category that focuses on longer, less-shaped, laissez-faire follicles.
The only other state with as strong a showing was Pennsylvania's neighbor to the west, Ohio, which fielded second and third place finishers in the Freestyle category (Thomas Smith of Dayton and Matt Bischoff of Cincinnati, respectively) with Jeromesville’s Neil Moherman taking a third place finish in Full Beard Natural -- no small feat considering that it was the single most competitive category with 62 registered entrants.
It was also the category that yielded the biggest surprise victory of the day –- a first-place finish by newcomer John Burgess, a doctor from Martinsburg, W.Va., with a white beard that fell to about mid-thigh, and who, in an interview earlier in the day, said he had decided to attend to "bring attention to hormonal medical issues -- ones that could be cured easily with things like vitamin D but that aren't being discussed."
In addition to trophies and gift bags from sponsors for each winner (which included things like Panasonic facial hair trimmers, each first-place finisher took home $600, with $300 going to each second-place winner, and $100 to each beardsman that placed third.The second-annual competition wrapped with the announcement by Phil Olsen, the event’s chief organizer and captain of Beard Team USA, that the date and location for next year’s national facial-hair faceoff, which Olsen told the crowd is scheduled for Nov. 11, 2012, in Las Vegas.
Full results of the 2011 U.S. National Beard and Moustache Championships
1st: Patrick Gorman, Tucson
2nd: Bejamin Juergens, Hanover, Pa.
3rd: Glen Moore, Boston
1st: Toot Joslin, Tahoe City, Calif.
2nd: Bill Mitchell, Hinesville, Ga.
3rd: Nathan Johnson, Burbank
Full Beard Groomed
1st: John Myatt, Burbank
2nd: Kenny Burke, Olympia, Wash.
3rd: Douglas Renfro, Anchorage
Full Beard Natural
1st: John Burgess, Martinsburg, W.Va.
2nd: Bryan Nelson, Austin, Texas
3rd: Neil Moherman, Jeromesville, Ohio
1st: Jonathan Rice, Plantation, Fla.
2nd: Thomas Smith, Dayton, Ohio
3rd: Matt Bischoff, Cincinnati
— Adam Tschorn in Lancaster, Pa.
Photos, from top: John Myatt of Burbank, left, took top honors in the new Full Beard Groomed category at the 2011 National Beard and Moustache Championships held on Saturday in Lancaster, Pa., while Thomas Smith (6) took second place in the Freestyle category behind winner Jonathan Rice (1) of Plantation, Fla.; John Burgess of Martinsburg, W.Va., won in the Full Beard Natural category. Credit: Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times