Cassy Herkelman (VIDEO): Female High School Wrestler Wins and Makes History - by Default
(CBS/AP) - Break out the record books. Cedar Falls High School Freshman Cassy Herkelman became the first girl ever to win a match in the Iowa state high school wrestling tournament. Too bad it wasn't very exciting to watch: Cassy's opponent never even showed up.
Joel Northrup, a home-schooled sophomore, said he defaulted on his match with Herkelman because he doesn't think boys and girls should compete in the sport together.
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and Megan and their accomplishments. However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times," said Northrup in a news release. "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. It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most other high school sports in Iowa."
Herkelman already made history just by making it into the tournament. She wasn't alone either: Ottumwa High sophomore Megan Black was also competing. It marks the first time in the tournament's 85-year history that women have participated in the state championship.
Black's first opponent was considerate enough to actually face her. Three years earlier, she was scheduled to wrestle Northrup. He defaulted then too.
"If it's his religion and he's strong in his religion, then I just respect that," Black said. "Obviously, everyone can be pointing fingers at him. He, at least, is true to his beliefs and you have to respect that. It takes a lot for a 15- or 16-year-old boy to do."
Cassy is moving on to the quarterfinals on Friday. She was unavailable for comment, but it's safe to say the 112-pound athlete is ready to go. She's already in the history books, now just let her compete!
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