Texas transgender wrestler Mack Beggs wins second straight title, draws mixed reactions

Mack Beggs of Euless Trinity smiles in the closing seconds of a Class 6A girls 110-pound semifinal bout during the UIL State Wrestling Championships at the Berry Center on Saturday

"I put too much blood, sweat and tears, I put too much B.S. into this journey that I wanted to come out on top", Beggs said.

While more than a dozen states and the NCAA allow athletes to participate in sports based on their gender identity, the UIL still stands firm on its ruling.

Last year, when Beggs was 17, he won the Texas girls' Class 6A 110lb division after an unbeaten season in which several of his opponents pulled out, fearing injury. There have been lawsuits filed attempting to bar him from competing against women, and even legislative action that almost passed the state congressional houses.

Mack Beggs has captured his second straight state wrestling title.

Beggs was met with cheers and boos from the crowd after his win.

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Beggs, who has gone 132-9 over three seasons, including an undefeated record for the past two years, has a scholarship offer to wrestle on a male team, and would have preferred to wrestle against men in high school.

Cheers and boos greeted the judges' decision but it confirmed what everybody already knew about Mack Beggs: he is by far the best in his girls' wrestling weight class in Texas. "I felt a lot more humble".

A senior at Euless Trinity High School near Dallas, Beggs anticipates competing against boys when she goes to college in the fall.

It's really, really hard", he told the Morning News, "but I'll do it.

Under Texas law, athletes are required to compete against other athletes who have the same gender on their birth certificates.

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"It sure as hell didn't stop me from doing what I wanted to do in the past, and it won't stop me from what I want to do in the future. It has more to do with skill and discipline than strength".

Texas laws ban performance enhancing drugs for high school athletes, but there is an exception if it is taken for medical purposes.

Emory University Department of Orthopedics assistant professor, Dr. Brandon Mines, agreed with several other parents at the match, maintaining that Beggs should compete with boys instead of girls. "That didn't stop me from being who I was", he said.

"The UIL is not in the gender-determining business and schools don't want to be either", UIL deputy director Jamey Harrison told the Associated Press. To help with the process, Beggs underwent low-level shots of testosterone. "This is what I worked for".

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