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Mantecans carrying heavy medals
Alexander, Merilles shatter records at IPL Worlds in Vegas
LIFT--Alexander  Merilles pic 1
Manteca resident Kyle Alexander set a new state record with a 573-pound squat during the International Power League World Championships in Las Vegas this past weekend. - photo by Photo Contributed

Kyle Alexander and Mason Merilles competed in the largest powerlifting meet they’ve ever been a part of and returned to Manteca with new world records and shiny first-place medals this past weekend.

Merilles, in just his second meet ever, set shattered three world records in the International Powerlifting League World Championships this past weekend at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Alexander is his division’s the new world record holder in the deadlift.

To be able to share these achievements made it all the more special for the Sierra High alumni.

“It was really cool,” Alexander said. “We’re really good friends, we train together and we hang out all the time, so it was cool getting to compete together. He helped me, spotted me and coached me and I did the same for him. We’re able to support each other.”

Merilles squatted 563 pounds, benched 341 and carried a 600 deadlift for a first-place total of 1,504. His squat, deadlift and total marks bested the previous world records held by Tyler Sage (2012). Merilles set state and national records in the process.

“This one was way bigger with a lot more people watching,” said Merilles, whose first competition was in September in the more low-key Sierra Nevada Cup in Grass Valley. There, he broke the state and national records in the deadlift in his division.

“I did a lot better than I thought I would do,” Merilles added. “I was kind of nervous going there. I’m resting my body right now but can’t wait to get back to training again.”

Alexander is already back at it after falling short of some of his goals. His winning total of 1,477 pounds nearly didn’t materialize after scratching his first two attempts in the bench press. He pushed up 303 pounds to stay in the running, but his state record squat of 573 pounds and new world record 634-pound deadlift put him over the top in the 18-19, 220-pound division.

“I’m really happy with how I did, even though I didn’t get exactly the weights I wanted to get,” Alexander said. “But it was  good learning experience and it’s motivating me to train harder and harder and work on my weaknesses.”

The tandem plans on next entering the Pacific Coast Open in Vacaville this February. Both are coached by Joe Bernazzani and Ron Pagal. Alexander is sponsored by CalFit Manteca, Manteca Togos, Lifting Dead and Fight Labs. Merilles is still seeking sponsors and can be reached at