SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — McNary High School teacher Vince Suetos is one of the best power lifters in the county.
“It all began as a goal in a little weight room back in the San Joaquin Valley – and at the time we had concrete blocks made out of 5 bucket cans and that’s how we started lifting – and you lift, get stronger and – wow – this is working,” he tells KOIN 6.
Suetos has been breaking records since the 1970’s.
“I went to junior college at Porterville junior college then went to Nevada Reno on a football scholarship – got into weight lifting there,” he says.
“I went to the Collegiate nationals in ’72 – I didn’t get to place that year. But in ’73 went back to Brigham Young University and actually won the whole thing.”
In 1973, Suetos broke his neck demonstrating a high jump technique to some junior high school students. A year later, he joined the marines.
“I went to a couple of inter-service meets, went to all marine meets – never managed to win there but always enjoyed competing at that level,” he says.
After a 20 year career in the military, Suetos and his family eventually settled in the Salem area. A serious motorcycle accident sidelined him for years until 2004 when he decided to start lifting again and enter a meet in Medford.
At that meet, he won it all. He has been lifting ever since.
“I went to a meet in Portland two years ago – at which time I set a worlds record in that age group,” he says. “I actually didn’t even know it until I started looking at worlds records and at that time it was a 451 squat and that set the worlds record at that time.”