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Local weightlifter sets state, national, world records

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Local resident Skip Schacher set several world records in bench press and dead lift last month, proving once and for all that age is just a number. 

Competing in the over 70 years old division, Schacher set a state, national and world record several times. He competed in the 132 pound weight class, weighing in at 128 pounds before the competition. His final bench press of 192.7 pounds was enough for to set the records. He now holds three bench pressing records in three different weight classes.

In addition, Schacher set a state dead lifting record with a 231.2 pound lift. 

“I’d never dead lifted before, so I opened up at 170,” he said. “I got that pretty good, so then I went 198 and I got that too. Then the guy behind me yelled, ‘Put some weight on there!’ so then I think I went 220.”

Normally, lifters only get three lifts. However, as Schacher had set a state record with all three of his lifts, he was awarded a fourth. The fourth dead lift of 231.2 pounds was enough for the state record. 

“We had a good time and there were lots of lifters,” he said of the Rocky Mountain Regional Bench Press and Dead Lift Championships held in Salt Lake City, Utah. “I guess I’m happy, but I’ll get that (200 pound bench press) next time.”

Schacher’s stellar performance was enough to qualify him for the world championships to be held in Reno, Nevada in November of this year. While an avid trainer who spends nearly every day in the gym, Schacher injured his back working around his house and is taking some well-deserved time off. 

He and several friends all train together for the contests, and even on days off Schacher and the other two oldest members of the gym can be found hiking in Glacier National Park. Schacher said the three were hiking at around 8,500 feet last August when they were caught in a snowstorm and had to make their way down. 

“It was so cold I couldn’t even talk or button my buttons I was shaking so bad. The other two thought we weren’t going to make it, but I’m too stupid to know that so I just thought we had to keep going,” Schacher said.

It took the three men eight hours to get down off the mountain. The following day, they found out that the area they’d been hiking in had gotten 18 inches of snow overnight. 

“They called it a once-in-100-years storm. Naturally, I was in it,” he laughed. “You go on those hikes and they’re hard, but a couple days later you’re ready to go again. It’s a different world. You never have time when you’re young, but now that I’m old and shouldn’t be doing it, I’m doing it.”

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