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Wrestling

Guy And Girl Wrestling – Boys Wrestling Against Girls Is Common In Sport

Senior, 18, beats opponent from 2017 final againBeggs wants to fight boys but state insists on birth certificate rule

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In a 2017 photo, Mack Beggs, left, wrestles Grand Prairie’s Kailyn Clay. Photograph: Nathan Hunsinger/AP
In a 2017 photo, Mack Beggs, left, wrestles Grand Prairie’s Kailyn Clay. Photograph: Nathan Hunsinger/AP

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For the second year in a row, a transgender wrestler has won the Texas girls’ Class 6A 110lbs 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 on 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. It was his steroid therapy treatments while wrestling girls that stirred a fierce debate about competitive fairness and transgender rights last season. His march to a state championship was dogged by a last-minute lawsuit that tried to stop him.

Beggs 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.

He entered this year’s 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.”

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Transgender teenage wrestler wins 2017 Texas girl’s state championship Guardian
McNew would not make Beggs available for interviews. 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 team-mates had insisted the girl wrestle Beggs but she refused, McNew said.

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, UIL deputy director.

Last year, Beggs told ESPN: “ should change the laws and then watch me wrestle the boys. Because I’m a guy. It just makes more sense.”

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