Iowa wrestler defaults rather than face girl in state tournament

DES MOINES | An Iowa high school wrestler has defaulted his state tournament match rather than face one of the first girls ever to qualify for the event.

Sophomore Joel Northup on Linn-Mar High defaulted his first-round matchup Thursday against Cedar Falls freshman Cassy Herkelman.

Linn Mar athletic director Scott Mahmens says Northup's decision not to wrestle Herkelman was based on his family's beliefs that wrestling is "not how you treat a girl."

Mahmens says Northup won't be available for comment.

Herkelman and Ottumwa sophomore Megan Black, both 112 pounds, made state history last week as the first girls ever to qualify for the state tournament.

Northup, who was one of the favorites to win his weight class, will be eligible to compete in the consolation rounds.