After a few days of speculation, Linn-Mar Athletics Director Scott Mahmens confirmed that Lions’ 112-pounder Joel Northrup will forfeit his opening round match of the Iowa High School Athletic Association Class 3A state wrestling tournamentto Cedar Falls Cassy Herkelman, the Iowa’s first female state qualifier.
Mahmens released a prepared statement Thursday morning.
“I have a tremendous am ount of respect for (Cassy) and (Megan) and their accomplishments,” Northrup said in the news release. “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 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 other High School sports in Iowa.”
Northrup was a state title contender. He was 38-4 last year placing third at 103 pounds as a freshman. Northrup is ranked fifth with a 35-4 record. Northrup is home-schooled by his mother, Sara, and his father, Jamie, is a minister at Believers in Grace , which is a non-demoninational church in Marion.
Northrup was forced to take the mat to forfeit directly to Herkelman to remain eligible in the consolation round. he wrestles the loser of Matt Victor of Indianola and Sam Jameson of Glenwood.
Herkelman qualified with a 20-13 record. Ottumwa’s Megan Black (25-13) also qualified and drew Bettendorf’s third-ranked Logan Ryan (26-7).