Kyle Alexander has dabbled in many sports but appears to have found one he can stick to for the rest of his life.
This past Sunday, the Sierra High senior competed in his first-ever powerlifting meet, the Pacific Coast Open, at Vacaville’s Old Skool Iron Gym and returned home with a gold medal for winning the 16-17-year-old, 220-pound division. He even set United States Power Lifting Association records and qualified for Nationals set for July 18-20 in Las Vegas.
“I plan on lifting (competitively) pretty much the rest of my life,” said the 6-foot, 215-pound Alexander. “My goal is to get the world records for my age and weight.”
Alexander’s mark of 562 pounds in the deadlift is the new state and American record. He also set a new state record in the squad at 435 pounds and benched 242.
“It was a lot different than I thought it would be,” Alexander said. “I’m not used to lifting on command, and there was just a lot of pressure with everyone watching.”
Alexander is no stranger to heavy lifting having grown up on a ranch. In his younger years he played baseball and swam competitively. He wrestled two years at Sierra High and plans on going out for the track and field team this spring to participate in the throwing events. Alexander is also a third-degree brown belt in Kenpo and even tried out some boxing.
“(Powerlifting) is a lot different than anything I’ve done because it’s all on you,” he said. “There’s no one else to blame. No matter what, 200 pounds is 200 pounds.”
Alexander has developed a passion for cross-fit training and weightlifting in his time at Sierra. Ron Pagal, the school’s body conditioning coach, encouraged him to begin competing as a power lifter after watching him break the school record for squats (three reps of 465 pounds) last year.
His training partner, Isaac Gutierrez, also a senior at Sierra, helped show him the ropes this past weekend. Gutierrez had already entered several power-lifting events and turned in record-setting performances.
“It made it a little easier going down there with him,” Alexander said. “Going in he just kind of told me what to expect.”
Alexander excels in the classroom as well. He currently holds a 4.25 GPA and is taking an advanced placement calculus class. Powerlifting will remain priority for him after graduating high school. After taking general education classes at Delta College, he hopes to transfer to UC Davis and pursue a degree in engineering.