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
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, a tournament in Cypress outside of Houston with an undefeated record. He defeated Chelsea Sanchez — who he beat for the title in 2017 — in the last race of the Saturday.
Video posted online showed a mix of cheers and boos from the crowd following Beggs’ win.
Beggs is in the process of the transition from woman to man and taking a low dose of testosterone.
LOOK: in a dramatic finish, transgender wrestler Mack Beggs rolls of a possible to pin down to prevent the defeat and the victory. Met with boos from the crowd. @wfaa pic.twitter.com/72xRpzsQGN
— Matt Howerton (@HowertonNews) February 24, 2018
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 championship of the state was haunted by a last-minute lawsuit that sought 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.
“Certainly,” Beggs told The Dallas Morning News’ sports day. “I felt a lot more humble. This year I wanted to prove a point that everyone can do something. Even though I was in this position, even though I didn’t want to be in this position, even if I wanted to wrestle the boys, I still had to wrestle the girls.
“But what can I say? I can tell you that it is up to the state Legislature to change the policy, but I can’t tell them to change it now. All I can hope for is that they come to their [the senses] and realize this is stupid and we must change the policy to meet other people in my position.”
Beggs entered the state tournament with a 32-0 record, the defeat of three female wrestlers on his way to the championship.
“He has a lot of respect for all the girls that he struggles,” said Beggs’ mother, Angela McNew. “People think Mack has been beating on girls … The girls that he wrestles with, they are tough. It has more to do with the skill and discipline than strength.”
McNew is not Beggs available for interviews ahead of the state meet. The solitude allowed him to concentrate on the task that lies before us, and perhaps shield him from attacks on social media and occasional insults of the state — or even other wrestling mats during meets.
Beggs’ road to the championship last season two days in the regional tournament by wrestlers who were afraid of injury. Beggs facing only one lose this season. The opposing coach and team mates had insisted the girl wrestling Beggs, but she refused, McNew said.
Beggs’ family has repeatedly said that he wants to wrestle the boys. The birth certificate line was approved in 2016 by the University Interscholastic League, the governing body for Texas high school sports. This was done to help the schools determine the competition, said Jamie Harrison, the UIL’s deputy director.
The Associated Press contributed to this report