Over the past four years, Dillan Brown has been obsessed with his weight as he’s tried to balance the scales to stay in the 123-pound weight class.
“He’s worse than a girl,” said his mother, Monica Brown, about his weighing every day.
But any obsession with body weight has been overshadowed by his passion for lifting as much weight as possible. It’s a passion that led him to a Texas High School Powerlifting Association state title last spring.
Saturday, the senior will try to become only the third Decatur lifter to earn a second crown in the final meet of his career.
“It’s the last one,” Brown said. “I want it to be a good one. I’ve got to defend the title. In my mind, you’re not a champion until you defend it.”
If Brown can bring home a second state title, he’ll join an elite group of lifters in the THSPA’s Hall of Honor.
“It’s a permanent record,” said Decatur coach and THSPA President Tim Mynarcik. “In the history of the association, we’ve had one kid win it four times and only a few three times.”
Mynarcik points out that Brown was close to winning a title as a sophomore. He finished second at state by 45 pounds.
“He had a lot of nerves then,” Mynarcik said. “But his second time, he realized it was just another meet.”
He went back as a junior and won the 123-pound class by 15 pounds, reaching the top of the sport that he’s grown to love with a 1,065-pound total.
“Everyone likes something they are good at,” Brown explained. “I just enjoy it and like lifting weights. It’s the adrenaline rush.”
He was first approached about powerlifting when he was still in middle school. Even as one of the smaller kids in his class, he was lifting as much the bigger guys.
“The high school coaches came down and scouted the offseason,” Brown said. “They asked me, ‘You are going to do powerlifting, aren’t you?”‘
It didn’t take long for him to get hooked. The weight room practically became his second home.
“There’s been a lot of hours put into the gym and weight room,” he said.
It led to him being able to set record after record. At the Region VI Division II meet earlier this month, he set a total record with his 1,140 pounds. He also shattered the deadlift record with a pull of 450.
Mynarcik said those records are not by accident.
“He’s here every day and works hard,” he said. “He’s not only strong but dedicated.”
But Brown has made several sacrifices to reach the top of his sport. A standout sprinter who qualified for regionals his freshman and sophomore years, he gave up track after two years to concentrate on lifting.
“Trying to lift in the morning and run in the afternoon was too tough,” Brown said.
Brown heads into Saturday’s finals with a 95-pound lead over second-place lifter Josh Lomas of Crystal City. But Brown is not taking anything for granted.
“I know people are gunning for me,” he said.
He’s taking an aggressive approach. He’s planning to challenge for the state record in his class with his opening squat of 460 pounds. It’s 10 more pounds than his regional tally. He’s also hoping to bump his deadlift up to 470 pounds.
The Division II state record is 1,125 for his weight class.
“It’s going to be a challenge, but I know I can get it,” Brown said about the records.
Along with the records and a chance to put his name in the books with a second title, Brown said it will be an emotional weekend as he competes for a final time.
“I’m going to miss the sport definitely,” Brown said. “It’s hard to believe this is the last one for good.”
An obsession with the scales also will come to an end.