High School Wrestler Refuses to Face Female Opponent
She wins by default, making history
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2011 3:28 PM CST
Cedar Falls' Cassy Herkelman, center, and her opponent Joel Northrup, center left, at the scorers' table.   (AP Photo/Steve Pope)
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(Newser) – The Iowa state wrestling meet—a prestigious high school competition for the sport—has its first female victor. Along with controversy: Cassy Herkelman's male opponent withdrew rather than wrestle her, the Des Moines Register reports. "Wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times," explained Joel Northrup. "As a matter of conscience and my faith I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner."

Herkelman and another girl became the first two females to qualify for the tournament this year. (The other girl did wrestle and lost, getting pinned in 52 seconds.) "It's nice to get the first win and have her be on the way to the medal round," Herkelman's father wrote to AP. "I sincerely respect the decision of the Northrup family especially since it was made on the biggest stage in wrestling."
 

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