Flood can’t wash away Horn’s goals

Junior Phillip Horn cleares the high jump bar on Jan 26. The bar was set at 6 foot 1 and a half inches.

Julie Lybarger

Junior Phillip Horn cleares the high jump bar on Jan 26. The bar was set at 6 foot 1 and a half inches.

If anyone knows what it feels like to lose everything, it is Missouri Southern decathlete Phillip Horn. Horn, a junior criminal justice major, lost everything in the flood that went through his hometown of Coffeyville, Kan., on July 1, 2007.

“Losing everything was devastating,” Horn said. “Imagine coming home and having nothing.”

Horn lost everything from old magazines to his prized possession, a 42″ High Definition Television. Horn’s family was lucky in the sense that they were among the few houses that had flood insurance.

“Floods are something you don’t really think about until it happens,” Horn said. “We got away with our lives and that is the most important thing, but when you come home and there is six feet of water in your house, it is a whole different story.”

Horn became involved with track and field in fifth grade. He competed in Hershey track and field against other kids his age.

“I loved it. It was a lot of fun,” Horn said.

Horn, a graduate of Field Kindley Memorial High School, was a three-time letter winner in football, basketball and track before becoming a two-time All-American for Coffeyville Community College. He also holds the record for the 300-meter hurdles at his high school. Horn has been to nationals twice as a NCJAA decathlete, but has never appeared in a NCAA nationals meet. He placed seventh in the decathlon last year at the NCJAA national meet.

“My goal for the season is to make it to nationals in a couple of events, Horn said. “I know coach (Tom) Rutledge and assistant coach Kyle Rutledge will help get me there.”

Horn competes in shot put, pole vault, long jump, high jump, 60-meter hurdles, discus, javelin, 100-meter dash, 400-meter dash, and 1,500-meter dash.

Although Horn competes in many things, his favorite events are the hurdles and the pole vault.

“They are the hardest,” Horn said. “They take the most technique and are the most interesting to watch.”

Last weekend, at the Fazolis/Baymont Inn Invitational, Horn placed first in the long jump. He also placed third in the 60-meter hurdles, fourth in the high jump, 16th in the pole vault, and 18th in the shot put.

“Phillip had a great meet. He has been working very hard,” said Tom Rutledge, men’s track and field head coach.

In his spare time, Horn likes to watch movies, play laser tag, paintball, and spend time with friends.

“I like to sleep though. I need it and don’t get a lot of it,” Horn said.

Horn had track offers to schools in Iowa, Arizona, and even Pitt State. Despite having many offers, Horn chose Southern for its criminal justice program, the track facilities, and small classes. His main reason was how close knit the team was and the effort he saw the track and field team members give.

“Coach Rutledge told me that the team would fight until hell freezes over, then they would fight them on ice. That comment made up my mind,” Horn said.