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.
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."
"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."