Iowa wrestler bows out to female opponent

UNDATED – High school wrestling in Iowa is like football in Texas or basketball in Indiana. Everyone is crazed about the state championships, which is why so many were amazed Thursday when one of the top wrestlers in the state chose to forfeit his championship match rather than face his opponent.

Joel Northrup signed in and then walked off the mat without even touching his opponent. It sent shockwaves through the stadium.

Northrup, a sophomore who is home-schooled, defaulted because his opponent, Cassy Herkelman, is a girl. "It gets violent at times, and my son doesn't believe that girls should be engaged in that way," Jamie Northrup, Joel's father, said.

For the first time in this tournament's 75 year history, not just one, but two girls qualified to compete against the boys.

Cassy Herkelman was first to score a win. Megan Black, who lost in early rounds, just want to be seen as an athlete. "When I step on the mat, I'm just read to wrestle. And, I'll wrestle anyone in front of me," Black said.

Herkelman lost her next match. She was beaten by Indianola's Matt Victor in their 112-pound quarterfinals match Friday.

What do you think of Joel Northrup forfeiting his championship match rather than face his female opponent? Take our web poll.

Copyright 2011 KTRE. All rights reserved. Information from AP and ABC News was also used in this story.