Girl Power

Steamboat student breaks a world power-lifting record

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— Emily Schneider had just skied for about four hours at Howelsen Hill on a recent Thursday afternoon before she entered the nearby David L. DeHaven Strength Training Center to begin working out.

Emily, a 15-year-old Steamboat Springs student who broke a world power-lifting record in November, entered the weight room at about 4:30 p.m., which is generally when she starts pumping iron.

Decked in several layers of clothes and a winter stocking cap that she had worn while skiing, Emily stretched her arms and shoulders and prepared for a set of reps on the bench.

A Limp Bizkit CD resounded throughout the gym as she lay on the seat and began throwing up 115 pounds.

She completed the set with ease, though she was soon heckled by a couple of young male lifters at the gym.

They wanted to see her lift more weight.

"I thought you were some World Champion," said Ryan Roberts, who, along with Emily, belongs to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. "I don't think you can actually do it."

Emily didn't attempt to do the weight on that day because she was there to work solely on her lower body.

But if she wanted to, she certainly could have appeased her friend's request by doing the weight. She does, after all, bench more than 163 percent of her own body weight.

In November, Emily placed No. 1 in the 114-pound-and-under division at the World Association of Benchers and Dead Lifters competition at Reno, Nev.

She lifted 132.2 pounds, which was the best lift for the women's 13-15 age category. Her record can be found on the organization's Web site, www.WABDL.org.

It was a power-lifting event, so she had to bring the barbell to her chest, pause, and then lift it back up to the rack.

If she had not had to bring the weight to a pause, Emily perhaps could have lifted 170, which is what she recently did in front of Steamboat football coach Mark Drake.

Schneider, who worked out with Drake on a daily basis before entering the power-lifting competition, was not shy when asked the key to her success.

"I'm buffed," she said.

Later, she gave a more detailed explanation.

Every day, Emily does 200 push-ups and 1,500 sit-ups, she said.

When she trains for competition, she works out for about an hour and a half every day and focuses on legs, shoulders and lat muscles.

Drake says the sophomore transfer student looks nothing like a power lifter.

Most people would agree.

Emily weighs less than 105 pounds and stands 5 feet tall.

She has curly, light-brown hair and sports a friendly smile that gives her a playful look.

The sophomore, who competes in the U.S. Ski Association Series, moved from Portland, Ore., to Colorado to fine-tune her ski-racing skills.

She arrived in Steamboat in August.

Emily may sit alone at the top of the power-lifting world, but her current passion is skiing, she said.

Last summer, Emily pleaded with her parents, Robert and Ginny, to let her move to Steamboat and stay with a host family while she focused on excelling in skiing.

Her parents finally gave in, though it was a very tough decision for them to allow Emily to transfer schools to another state.

Ginny says she misses her daughter but is proud of her for her accomplishments.

Emily began demonstrating her athleticism at a very early age, her mother said.

She inherits that athleticism from her father, who likes to ski, play tennis and wind surf.

Last year, Emily was inside her Oregon high school's weight room when she ran into some members of the varsity football team.

The football players challenged her to a pull-up competition, which Emily ended up doing quite well in. She defeated all of them, except for one. She hammered out 27 pull-ups in a row.

"She's very competitive and very driven, and very enthusiastic," Ginny said.

Robert said his daughter has a tremendous work ethic that is reflected by her performance in the classroom.

Emily is a straight-A student who is currently taking a full junior load of courses.

"She's a great kid, a great person," Robert said. "She's got lots of energy. She's level-headed and fun."

Schneider may have a world record in power lifting, but she isn't sure what sport she eventually wants to pursue. Her dream, she said, is to one day make it to the Olympics.

"I just want to succeed," she said. "I want to be known as someone who works hard and is disciplined."

To reach Eric Rineer call 871-4229

or e-mail erineer@steamboatpilot.com

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