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Iowa male wrestler refuses to wrestle girl

At a state tournament match, an Iowa boy wrestler forfeits his match, refusing to face a girl wrestler.

February 17, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
There was controversy at a state wrestling match when a high school wrestler defaulted a game, refusing to wrestle a female opponent.

The Iowa high school wrestler walked off the mat, deciding to default at his state tournament match rather than face freshman Cassy Herkelman.

In a statement, Joel Northrup said his decision is based on family beliefs that such contact between a boy and a girl is inappropriate. The school says it will not penalize Northrup for defaulting.

"It's pretty much a family decision," said Coach Scott Mahmens. "We're not going to step in and tell families what they need to do."

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

Northrup, who is one of the favorites to win in his weight class, is eligible to compete in consolation rounds.