Mack Beggs, the transgender wrestler from Euless Trinity High School, is halfway home to capturing the Class 6A state girls wrestling championship in the 110-pound weight class.
Beggs dismantled two opponents on Friday’s opening day, earning a major decision over League City Clear Spring’s Taylor Latham 18-7 and then improving his season record to 54-0 with a major decision over Mya Engert of Amarillo Tascosa 12-4.
Both of Beggs’ opponents managed to avoid being pinned, but neither provided enough resistance to make the match close at the UIL Wrestling State Tournament.
Beggs advanced to Saturday’s 10:30 a.m. semifinal against area rival Kailyn Clay of Grand Prairie. Beggs defeated Clay in the semifinals of last week’s regional tournament in Allen.
For the most part, Friday’s action was routine despite the sudden swirling controversy around Beggs, whose gender transition from female to male became a news story after the regional tournament.
Beggs’ matches did not draw any more of a crowd than any other match taking place simultaneously on the 10 connected mats inside the mostly filled Berry Center in the Cypress-Fairbanks school district.
And while fans mostly cheered Beggs’ two victories, there were some outliers.
One woman could be heard after Beggs’ victory over Engert yelling at the Tascosa wrestler, “At least you got out there.”
At the regional tournament, two wrestlers forfeited rather than grapple with Beggs. One, Coppell’s Madeline Rocha, who had already qualified for state, lost her opening-round match Friday in Cypress.
After losing to Beggs, who has has been on testosterone treatments since October 2015, Engert left the mat in tears and her coach tersely declined an interview request for her wrestler. Many of the coaches have said they’re not upset at Beggs, but just the predicament of their girls having to wrestle against an athlete on testosterone.
But at least one wrestling parent, Patti Overstreet, yelled “cheater” at Beggs.
“Look at how beefed up she is,” Overstreet said. “It’s because she’s taking an enhancement. Whether she’s a boy, girl, wants to be purple or blue it doesn’t matter. When you’re using a drug and you’re 10 times stronger than the person you’re wrestling because of that drug, that shouldn’t be allowed.”
One athletic director watching the action, who asked for his name not to be used because of the sensitivity of the issue, said he believes “there is cause for concern because of the testosterone,” adding, “I think there is a benefit.”
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SOURCE: The Star-Telegram