Transgender Texas athlete Mack Beggs wins second state title

Feb 25, 2018 by

Mack Beggs of Euless Trinity defeated Chelsea Sanchez of Morton Ranch to defend his Class 6A girls 110-pound title during the UIL State Wrestling Championships at the Berry Center, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in Cypress. Photo: Jason Fochtman, Staff Photographer / © 2018 Houston Chronicle

CYPRESS – For the second year in a row, a transgender wrestler has won the Texas girls Class 6A 110-pound division.

Mack Beggs, an 18-year-old senior from Euless Trinity High School near Dallas, entered the tournament in Cypress outside of Houston with an undefeated record. He beat Chelsea Sanchez – who he beat for the title in 2017- in the final match Saturday.

Video posted online showed a mix of cheers and boos from the crowd following Beggs’ win.

Beggs is in the process of transitioning from female to male and taking a low-dose of testosterone.

Now Playing: Mack Beggs, A Transgender Student, Wrestles In The 2017 UIL State Championships

People were asked to anonymously share their thoughts about Mack Beggs, who was born a girl but is transitioning to a boy, wrestling with the 6A Girls Class in the 2017 UIL State Wrestling Championships. UIL rules force Beggs to wrestle as a girl.

It was his steroid therapy treatments while wrestling girls that stirred a fierce debate about competitive fairness and transgender rights last season. It’s been a lot quieter since last year when his march to a state championship was dogged by a last-minute lawsuit that tried to stop him.

Beggs had asked to wrestle in the boys division, but the rules for Texas public high schools require athletes to compete under the gender on their birth certificate.

Beggs entered the state tournament with a 32-0 record, beating three female wrestlers on his way to the championship.

“He has so much respect for all the girls he wrestles,” said Beggs’ mother, Angela McNew. “People think Mack has been beating up on girls … The girls he wrestles with, they are tough. It has more to do with skill and discipline than strength.”

McNew would not make Beggs available for interviews ahead of the state meet. The solitude allowed him to concentrate on the task ahead and perhaps shield him from attacks on social media and occasional insults from the stands – or even other wrestling mats – during meets.

Beggs’ road to the championship last season included two forfeits in the regional tournament by wrestlers who feared injury. Beggs faced only one forfeit this season. The opposing coach and teammates had insisted the girl wrestle Beggs, but she refused, McNew said.

Beggs’ family has repeatedly said he wants to wrestle boys. The birth certificate rule was approved in 2016 by the University Interscholastic League, the governing body for Texas high school sports. It was done to help schools determine competition, said Jamie Harrison, the UIL’s deputy director.

Source: Transgender Texas athlete Mack Beggs wins second state title – Houston Chronicle

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