- Associated Press - Friday, February 18, 2011

An Iowa wrestler who became the first girl to win a state tournament match when her favored opponent refused to face her says she has no problem with his decision.

Cedar Falls freshman Cassy Herkelman said Friday that she feels Joel Northrup was entitled to default on their Thursday match because he believes boys should not wrestle girls because it’s a combat sport.

Northrup is a home-schooled sophomore who compiled a 35-4 pre-tournament record wrestling for Linn-Mar High School. He praised Herkelman’s achievements but said his religious beliefs prevented him from wrestling her.

Herkelman’s father says he respects Northrup’s choice but wishes it hadn’t garnered so much media attention.