High school transgender wrestler wins Texas regional title

ALLEN, Texas (AP) A 17-year-old Dallas-area high school transgender wrestler who is transitioning from female to male has won a girls regional championship after a female opponent forfeited the match.

Mack Beggs, a Euless Trinity High School junior who is undefeated this wrestling season, hugged losing opponent Madeline Rocha, from Coppell, on the victory stand Saturday after their match for the 110-pound Class 6A Region 2 championship never took place when Rocha declined to wrestle.

Beggs and Rocha advance to the state championships next weekend. The top four finishers in the region qualified for the state tournament. Beggs did wrestle Kailyn Clay, of Grand Prairie, in a semifinal match Friday night, and won by pin. Clay finished fourth in the regional tournament.

Beggs' coach, Travis Clark, told The Dallas Morning News (http://bit.ly/2kNtnnA ) the forfeit was expected but declined further comment. Coppell's coach and athletic director also declined to comment. Beggs' grandmother and guardian, Nancy Beggs, says the outcome was about ''bias, hatred and ignorance.''

A Coppell lawyer and wrestling parent filed a lawsuit earlier this month against the University Interscholastic League, the agency that governs Texas high school athletics, seeking to have Beggs suspended for steroid use. Beggs is taking testosterone and Jim Baudhuin's lawsuit contends allowing Beggs to compete while using testosterone exposes other athletes to ''imminent threat of bodily harm.''

Beggs identifies as male but must compete against girls because of two UIL rules, one requiring student-athletes to compete as the gender listed on their birth certificate, and the other prohibiting boys from wrestling girls.

Beggs' grandmother said Beggs wants to compete against boys but will follow UIL rules.

The Texas Education Code and UIL rules prevent steroid use, but the code allows their use if ''dispensed, prescribed, delivered and administered by a medical practitioner for a valid medical purpose.''

Nancy Beggs says the UIL has Mack Beggs' medical records and has approved the student to compete.

Baudhuin has denied his lawsuit is a reaction to Beggs being a transgender male.

''I respect that completely, and I think the coaches do,'' he said. ''All we're saying is she is taking something that gives her an unfair advantage.''

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Information from: The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com

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