After making it to semistate as a freshman in 2014, Burk VanHorn hoped to qualify for the Wrestling State Finals last season.
As it turned out, the Franklin junior had to wait an extra year. He didn’t make it back to semistate last season, but this year he did, and with a runner-up finish at 160 pounds in Saturday’s Evansville Semistate, VanHorn will make his first trip to state.
“It means a lot to me because last year, I ended up my season not as well as I’d planned,” Van Horn said. “I knew I had to step it up.”
The seventh-ranked Van Horn, who lost to No. 5 Cayden Whitaker of Martinsville 7-1 in the finals, was one of two Grizzly Cubs and six Johnson County wrestlers to qualify for this weekend’s state meet with top-four finishes.
Franklin senior Quinn York will make a return trip after a runner-up finish at 285. The fourth-ranked York, who finished sixth at state last year, fell to No. 5 Sean Galligar of Columbus East 9-6 in the semistate final.
“It was an experience that I really liked the first time, and it was even better to place higher at semistate than I did last year,” York said. “But I wrestled better early on today. The finals, I didn’t wrestle that good.”
Three Indian Creek wrestlers and Center Grove sophomore Gleason Mappes will join the Franklin duo at State. Mappes, who fell to VanHorn 3-2 in the 160-pound semifinals, bounced back with a pin of Southridge’s Mitchell Mundy in the consolation match to finish third.
Indian Creek’s fifth-ranked Elijah Dunn finished third at 152. Tenth-ranked Alex Mosconi at 113 and Grant Goforth at 182 each finished fourth for the Braves.
“We had a rough semifinal round,” Indian Creek coach Pat Dowty said. “Not having Elijah and Alex in the finals hurt. I was expecting those two to be champs today.”
In Friday night’s opening round at state, semistate champions will face fourth-place finishers from another semistate, while runners-up will face third-place finishers.
“Alex is a tough kid, so there’s going to be a No. 1 out there that’s going to get a bad draw,” Dowty said. “Elijah can beat anybody in the state on any given day, or he could lose to anybody in the state. It just depends on which kid shows up. Grant Goforth is getting better and better, and he improves more every week.”
Greenwood’s Keeghan Overton (106) and Anthony Williams (138); Center Grove’s Zak Siddiqui (120), Logan Coyle (145) and Jonah Hays (170); Indian Creek’s Tony Mosconi (126) and Franklin’s Shane Wilkerson (145) all lost their quarterfinal, or “ticket round” matches to fall one win short of qualifying for state.
Center Grove’s Peyton Pruett (113), David Roth (132) and Cory Heinrichs (220); Franklin’s Trevor Reese (138) and Jake Moore (170); Indian Creek’s Brad Trietsch (138); Whiteland’s Matthias Ebeyer (145) and Greenwood’s A.J. Montgomery (182) and Nick Ballard (195) all lost in the first round.
“We had a couple tough draws,” Franklin coach Bob Hasseman said. “I was glad we got the two through we did.”