1963 CHS graduate, Nancy Qualls Fox, a champion at age 75

1963 CHS graduate, Nancy Qualls Fox, a champion

1963 Carlinville High School graduate Nancy (Qualls) Fox, holds three Minnesota state championship records in the 70-plus age class for two lifts, including deadlift (pictured). Fox, age 75, has additionally set a record mark in bench press. Photo contributed.


1963 CHS graduate, Nancy Qualls Fox, a champion at age 75


When Nancy Qualls Fox was in high school, her athletic prowess consisted of getting out of bed in the morning and getting dressed without falling over.

Now, 56 years later, she is the Minnesota state champion weightlifter for women in the 70-plus age class.

Fox started competing in 2019 and now holds three state championship records for bench pressing and deadlift.

In April of this year, Fox competed in the United States’ Powerlifting Association’s Masters 4B level for women age 75 to 79.

One reason for Fox’s sudden success as an athlete was that she was tall and strong.

“I grew up on a farm in Carlinville and did the regular farm chores, so I was always well fit,” Fox said. “There wasn’t much in the way of sports for girls in school back then. As an adult, I was terrible at every sport I tried, and I tried quite a few.”

Fox said she never dreamed that she would be considered an athlete, much less a champion, later in life. However, her drive to defy the odds took over.

Three years ago, Fox decided to lose some weight and figured that doing it through traditional sports and exercise methods still wasn’t for her.
“Then I read a story about a woman in her fifties who was into competing in power lifting and wondered if any woman in Minnesota older than 70 was doing the same,” Fox said. “It turned out that there was no women at that age and no previous records. I figured, what the heck, I can do this and set a state record.”

With the encouragement and support of her friends, Fox entered a deadlift competition four months later and set her first state record.

Read the full story in the May 20th issue of the Enquirer~Democrat.