The quiet champion


Ashley Long

Junior Lexi Horner dives into the water for the 100 yard breaststroke at the Johnston Invitational Oct. 10. She placed first in the event with a time of 1:07.47 minutes, Horner has broken multiple school records and obtained all 14 honor times.

Junior Lexi Horner broke the school record for the 100 yard breaststroke Sept. 15, with a time of 1:06.64 minutes. The previous record was from 2012, held by Carmen Vajgrt. Horner does not let any time go to waste in practice or in races. “During the race, I just tell myself that every second counts,” Horner said.

Horner holds two other school records as well. Last year, she broke the record for the 200 yard individual medley with a time of 2:08.53 minutes. The previous record holder was actually Horner herself, from her freshman year. She also holds the record for the 200 yard medley relay with her teammates Mallorie Myers, Abby Foutch and Lexie Winnett with a time of 1:49.35 minutes.

Horner has participated in school swimming since seventh grade, but she has been swimming since she was six years old. She is on the varsity girls’ swim team and swims year round with Central Iowa Aquatics.

While she has broken many school records, and was 2015 state champion in club swimming, Horner is known by her friends, family, and coach to be incredibly humble. “She is by far the best swimmer on the team, and just by meeting her you would never know,” senior Abby Foutch said. Horner’s teammates see her as hard-working and a very positive influence on the rest of the team. “Lexi has an amazing ability to rub off happiness on to people,” Foutch said. “A lot of younger girls look up to her as a role model, so when she’s happy, everyone is happy.”

Swimming coach Shari Walling described Horner as a “quiet champion” that she can place in any event and knows that Horner will score points for the team. “I believe part of the reason she’s been so successful is that her work ethic is second to none,” Walling said. “It is very, very strong.” Walling called her very coachable and patient.

Family is a big motivator and support system for Horner. “Lexi broke the 200 [individual medley] record and she worked all year,” Horner’s mom, Sarah Horner, said. “Her times were really high and she didn’t think she could do it and then she did it at regionals. She ran up to my mom and gave her a big hug. The excitement of that day and the joy she felt to be able to win it for my mom was priceless.”

In her many years of swimming, those around her see how she has changed and grown into a team leader who they see as encouraging, supportive and positive. “When Lexi was a freshman, she was the shyest person on the team,” Foutch said. “You could barely get a peep out of her, but over the years, she has grown into a strong leader. It’s nice being a senior, knowing that next year when I’m gone, the team will be in good hands.”

Horner plans to swim in college but is undecided as to where.