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Four Zebras to compete at state wrestling finals at Gainbridge Fieldhouse

Four Rochester wrestlers can already see what is at stake Friday at the IHSAA Boys Wrestling State Championships.


The cover for the 2023 IHSAA program features Rochester’s first-ever state champion Marshall Fishback.


Layne Horn, Brant Beck, Alex Deming and Brady Beck will attempt to follow in Fishback’s shoes when they take to the mats Friday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis chasing their own state finals dreams.


Horn will compete in the first session Friday, beginning at 2 p.m., needing a win to advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals at 106 pounds.


A freshman ranked No. 1 in the state with a 39-1 record, Horn will open against Avon freshman Nathan Rioux (36-5), ranked No. 4. The winner will meet either Lake Central junior Mason Jones (39-1, ranked No. 6) or Mt. Vernon sophomore Connor Bayliss (37-8, ranked No. 19) in the quarterfinal round.


Eight of the 16 wrestlers at 106 pounds are freshmen.


Horn suffered his first defeat of the season at the Fort Wayne Semistate to Delta sophomore Ayden Bollinger (39-0, ranked No. 3). Bollinger is in the other half of the 106-pound bracket.


The second session Friday starts with the 152-pound weight class.


Rochester freshman Brant Beck (37-5, ranked No. 10) opens with top-ranked Crown Point senior Sam Goin (35-2) – the 152-pound state champion in 2022.


The winner advances to Saturday’s quarterfinal round to battle either Zionsville junior Chase Wagner (35-5, ranked No. 11) or Center Grove senior Andre Merritt (36-5, ranked No. 8).


At 195 pounds, Rochester semistate champion Alex Deming (43-0, ranked No. 6) may have to go through the top two ranked wrestlers in his weight class just to reach the state championship match.


Deming, a junior, will take on Clinton Central senior Cael Albaugh (39-10) in his opening-round match. A win would set up a quarterfinal-round match against either Brownsburg sophomore Gunner Henry (31-8, ranked No. 2) or Wawasee junior Donovan Blair (29-13).


Top-ranked John Purdy (40-1) of Castle and Roncalli’s Luke Hansen (40-0), ranked No. 4, are potential semifinal-round opponents.


Rochester junior Brady Beck (41-1), ranked No. 2 at 220 pounds, opens against No. 4 Austin Hastings (37-4) of Noblesville. Beck has defeated Hastings twice this season – 3-1 in overtime and 9-6.


Top-ranked Will Clark (34-3), of Crown Point, will wrestle Tri-West’s Spencer Watson (33-7) with the winner pairing up with the Beck-Hastings winner in the quarterfinals.


The state championship matches are slated for 7:30 p.m. Saturday.