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Megan Black becomes first girl to earn medal at prestigious Iowa state wrestling tournament

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

In 2011, Cassy Herkelman made history when she became the first girl to win a match at the prestigious Iowa State Wrestling Tournament, earning a first-round victory when her scheduled opponent forfeited rather than face a girl. On Thursday and Friday, something even more impressive happened: A girl won a state match, and no forfeit was involved whatsoever. Even more impressively, that same girl went on to finish eighth overall in her weight class, becoming the first-ever female to earn a spot on the medal stand at what is widely considered to be the nation's most historic high school wrestling event.

"[Earning a state medal is] something I've been waiting for a long time," Eddyville-Blakesburg (Iowa) High junior Megan Black, who finished as the Class 1A bracket's eighth-place wrestler, told the press after the medal ceremony.

As reported by the Des Moines Register, Associated Press and a variety of other Iowa outlets, Black earned the first competitive victory for a girl in the Iowa state wrestling tournament when she defeated Gilbertville (Iowa) Don Bosco school wrestler Jacob Schmit in a 10-0 shutout. As you can see in the video above, the 106-pound bracket first-round whitewash was as dominant as the scoreline made it appear, with Black controlling throughout a one-sided victory.

The junior who lives on a Jefferson County farm didn't stop there, either. Black lost her second match of the tournament to the No. 4-seeded wrestler in the Class 1A bracket, falling by an extremely respectable 6-3 score. But Eddyville-Blakesburg star rallied valiantly and won her third match by a 4-0 score against Audubon (Iowa) High wrestler Brad Kerkhoff.

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Eddyville-Blakesburg wrestler Megan Black — Associated Press

Eddyville-Blakesburg wrestler Megan Black — Associated Press

That second victory ensured that Black would finish among the meet's quarterfinalists, good enough for a medal of some sort. Unfortunately for her, it also ensured that she would compete no further, with the junior suffering a separated collarbone in her victory against Kerkhoff. The injury left Black little choice but to forfeit her consolation bracket match which could have earned her a sixth-place finish.

Black's historic state medal-winning run comes exactly a year after she and fellow wrestler Cassy Herkelman received national attention by qualifying for the state meet. While Black failed to win a match in her first go-round, Herkelman earned a spot in the state record book by becoming the first girl to win a state tournament match after her first-round opponent decided to forfeit rather than wrestle against a girl.

As it was, Black's final-match injury hardly dimmed her pride of what was a truly historic tournament run, or her enthusiasm about what she could achieve in her senior season.

"I just kind of rolled over it and I felt a couple of pops," Black told the Register of her injury. … "There's always next year."

No matter what happens next year, there will always be 2012, when Black made history by earning the first true win and medal for a female in Iowa state tournament history.

"It's not a novelty act anymore," Megan Black's father, Matt Black, told the Register. "You remember all the people who told her to quit -- former coaches who told her, 'Just quit. You'll never get any better.' But she got better."

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