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  • Val T.

The state qualifiers: Layne Horn

Horn sets falls record on way to another state berth


Sports Editor, RTC

Layne Horn

Damon Hummel had held the Rochester single-season record for falls with 31 for over 30 years.

And then Layne Horn came along.

Horn broke Hummel’s record with his 32nd fall at the Plymouth sectional on Jan. 27. Then came two more falls the following Saturday at Penn as he added a regional title to the sectional title he won at Plymouth.

Then came two more falls at the East Chicago semistate. The record is 36 and counting as Horn finished third at semistate to advance to the state finals for the second straight year.

“It feels pretty good,” Horn said. “I feel like I could have done a little bit better today, but we’ll fix it next week.”

Horn will wrestle Cody Rowles of Jay County in the first round of the state finals at the Ford Center in Evansville Friday.

Horn, sophomore, made state at 126 this year after making it at 106 last year as a freshman.

Horn was ranked No. 1 in the state at 106 for the entirety of last year, high praise for a freshman.

He battled a knee injury and eventually lost to Avon’s Luke Rioux by decision in the first round at state.

“That and not having a big target on my back,” Horn answered when asked if he is healthier going into state this year as compared to last year. “Being ranked number one last year, I felt like everybody was gunning for me. This year, I’m that other guy, and I get to gun for other people.”

Horn said he has not gotten much bigger since last year, but he said he has gotten stronger. Relying on strength and technique, he excels from the top position. He often uses his opponents’ elbows as a means of turning them on their backs.

“Well, I feel like my go-to thing is my wing and half(-nelson),” Horn said. “And I work that a lot. Like at home and stuff like that or when I go away to other practices… that’s just my go-to.”

Horn’s falls over wrestlers from John Glenn and Portage at East Chicago earned him his state spot. Then he lost to Crown Point’s top-ranked Landon Hawkins 2-0 in the semifinals before beating Penn’s Dylan Bennett 3-0 in the third-place match.

The loss to Hawkins was his first of the season and just the third of his high school career.

“He caught my leg when I went to go and try and grab his ankle,” Horn said. “He caught my leg, and he basically just pulled it over the top of his shoulder. I couldn’t really do anything and grab on to anything, so he just pulled me over.”

Horn is ranked No. 7 this time as he heads to state.

“I feel like it’s going to be a lot better because I know the atmosphere,” Horn said. “It’s going to feel more comfortable.”

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