Iowa wrestler defaults rather than face girl

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- An Iowa high school wrestler who was among the favorites to win his weight class has defaulted on his first-round state tournament match rather than face a girl.

Joel Northrup, a home-schooled sophomore who was 35-4 wrestling for Linn-Mar High this season, said in a statement Thursday that he doesn't feel it would be right for him to wrestle Cedar Falls freshman Cassy Herkelman.

Herkelman and fellow 112-pounder Ottumwa sophomore Megan Black made history this year by being the first girls to qualify for the tournament. Black was pinned quickly in her opening match.

Northrup says he has "tremendous" respect for the girls' accomplishments, but doesn't feel it's appropriate for boys to engage girls in a combat sport.