The crowd cheered as Cassy Herkelman’s hand was raised, but the historic moment of the first girl to win a match at the traditional state wrestling meet comes with an asterisk.
Her opponent, Joel Northrup of Linn-Mar of Marion, forfeited.
Northrup did not speak with the media, but did release a written statement:
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and Megan (Black, the tournament’s other female entrant) and their accomplishments. However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times. 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 of the high school sports in Iowa.”