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Muhlenberg College

Saturday, February 21, 2009

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horn captures title at
wrestling championships

Good things come in threes, and for Muhlenberg senior wrestler Matt Horn three threes was enough.

After finishing third at the Centennial Matt Horn on podium Conference Championships his first three years, Horn captured the 184-pound title in his fourth try to earn a bid to the NCAA Division III Championships, scheduled for March 6-7 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Horn will be joined at the national meet by teammate Rob Kein, who received the CC’s at-large berth after dropping a 3-2 decision in the 149-pound final.

The Mules also had three third-place finishers and finished fourth in the team standings, just a half-point out of third.

Horn is the first Muhlenberg wrestler to win the CC title at 184. “It feels awesome,” he said. “It still feels like a regular match. It hasn’t hit me that I’m going to nationals.”

Horn reached the final with a pin and major decision in his first two bouts. In the final he faced third-seeded Nate Murren of Ursinus, who gave him a tough match in a dual meet in early February. Horn hung on to win, 4-3.

“There was more on the line this time,” he said. “I knew I had to win.”

Horn scored two takedowns in the first period to grab an early 4-1 lead, but was taken down by Murren early in the second period to fall behind, 5-4. Horn escaped and scored a takedown of his own later in the period to go ahead 7-5 – a point at which he said he knew he had it won.

Horn added a pair of third-period takedowns to polish
Matt Horn
The CC tournament title was Horn’s third this season.
off the 12-8 decision. He will enter the national tournament with a 22-match winning streak.

Kein faced Dan Twito of Merchant Marine in a final showdown between two nationally ranked wrestlers. Kein won the regular-season meeting, 5-1, but this time Twito recorded an early takedown for the only offensive points of the match. The two traded escapes for the rest of the match, with Twito winning 3-2.

After a lengthy debate, Kein was awarded the wild card bid and will make his second nationals appearance.

Finishing third for the Mules were seniors Billy Hall at 133 and Justin Fitch at 174 and freshman Kevin Homan at 141.

Hall, seeded fifth, went 3-1 with a pin to end his career with a record of 82-25, including 38 pins. Fitch lived up to his third seed by also going 3-1, closing his career with a 63-36 mark.

Homan was a surprise at 141, winning three bouts in the consolation bracket, including a pin against the No. 2 seed, after dropping his opening bout to a nationally ranked opponent.

At 125, sophomore Ryan Hoffman threw a scare into the top seed, falling 4-3 in the opening round. Hoffman won his first consolation match by major decision before defaulting out of the tournament.
Click here for Muhlenberg box score.
Click here for complete results.

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