Lancaster Central School District officials are cutting ties with a doctor who denied a 12-year-old girl the chance to wrestle.
Seventh grader Trista Blasz has been wrestling since she was 8 years old and even won a state championship earlier this year. In August, her mom began working with coaches at Lancaster High School who wanted Trista to compete at the varsity level. However, Dr. Michael Terranova— an independent contractor with the district for nearly 40 years— denied her from joining the boys team multiple times.
Trista's mom said Terranova rejected her based on outdated medical charts and allegedly wrote "girls don't play boys sports" on a form from the district.
Spectrum News reached out to Terranova's office but was told the doctor is unavailable for comment.
The school board voted Saturday to terminate his contract and appoint Forestream Pediatrics to serve as the district's new physician.
Trista's mom remains skeptical about the board's actions.
"It turned out good for Trista,” Danielle Blasz said. “But do I think they would have done this if it didn’t air on TV and go out on Facebook? No, absolutely not. They're stepping in now because they have a bad rep."
"Girls can do anything boys can do, and they should be told that, and they should be encouraged to do that,” Lancaster Central School District Board of Education President Patrick Uhteg said. “And when they succeed as Trista clearly has thus far, they should be celebrated and congratulated and we should be moving forward, not back."
"A review panel will be reconvened to take an independent re-evaluation of eligibility for the female student athlete to compete with the JV boys wrestling team. Forestream Pediatrics will serve as the District's school physician on the panel and the panel will be committed to assess the student athlete's eligibility on medical evaluation without gender bias,” Lancaster Central School superintendent said in a statement.