Last year, the most commented-on post on this blog was about Casey Henkelman, the girl who won her first Iowa state wrestling tournament match by a forfeit because her scheduled opponent, a boy, refused to compete against her on religious grounds.
This year, wrestler Megan Black made history when she became the first girl in the state to win a match on the mat. In fact, the junior wrestled her way to two victories, ending with a medal at 8th place in the Div. 1A, 106-lb. bracket. She had to forfeit her final match when she suffered a separated collarbone.
In wrestling-crazy Iowa, Megan’s wins were big news.
“Um, I kind of like to be unnoticed and behind the scenes, and I guess that’s a little hard to do right now, but I’m just going with the flow,” the wrestler, who has grown up doing chores and climbing ropes on her family’s farm, told the Des Moines Register.
Megan, of Eddyville-Blakesburg High School, won her first match with a 10-0 major decision. She lost her second match to Taylor Curtis of Underwood, but then went on to earn her medal by winning her first consolation match. Her collarbone injury during her second consolation match ended her tournament run, but history had already been made.
Taylor Curtis, the wrestler who beat her in the second round of the tournament, had nothing but praise and respect for Megan after their match. Asked by an interviewer what it was like to wrestle Megan, with all the extra attention and pressure that the match brought, he replied, ““I want to clarify this now, that out on the mat, she’s not just a girl, she’s a wrestler and you’ve got to treat her like that. She’s good, she’s strong, and she knows what she’s doing.”
Congrats to Megan and all her opponents for handling themselves with the utmost in sportsmanship, respect, and grace under pressure!
For a great slideshow of Megan’s first match, including photos of the wrestling match itself, and of Megan’s parents’ reactions as they watched, check out the Des Moines Regsiter.