ANKENY, Iowa -- Over 200 players representing 27 states participated in the 2016 USA Racquetball Junior Olympic Championships in Minneapolis June 22-26, each vying for a spot on the USA Junior National Team.
Finalists in each age group (18-and-under singles, 16- and 14-) earn a spot on the US Junior National Team while finalists in the 12-and-under and 10- groups earn a spot on the US Junior National Esprit Team.
Iowa sent 21 junior players to participate in the event. Benjamin Horner (10, Ankeny) played in the 10-and-under singles, 12-and-under singles and 10-and-under doubles divisions. Horner finished second in the 10-and-under singles group, losing in the final to Nikhil Prasad (Freemont, CA), and earning a spot on the USA Junior World Team. He also finished 2nd in the 10- doubles with partner Krish Maini (Sun Prairie, WI).
Horner was seeded #2 in the 14-player draw. He won two matches to earn a spot in the final. He defeated his first opponent, Angel Eden Galvan (Stockton, CA) 15-1, 15-1. He defeated his second opponent, Gatlin Sutherland (Great Falls, MT) 9-15, 15-6, 11-5. He lost to Prasad 15-1, 15-4. Prasad also finished 3rd in the 12- division.
Benjamin Horner, along with father Dan Horner, will be traveling with Team USA to Mexico for the Junior World Championships (November 12-19).
In 2014, Benjamin Horner won the overall gold in the 8-and-under by beating Nikhil Prasad at Junior Olympics.
Here is the story John Sears did on Ben Horner 2 years ago.