University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer Lia Thomas continued to dominate the competition Saturday, winning two races in a meet against Ivy League rival Harvard University.
Thomas, 22, won the women’s 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle races at the meet, held just days after USA Swimming announced it will release a new policy for “elite” transgender athletes.
Thomas finished first in her 100-yard race in 50.55 seconds with her closest competitor coming in at 51.51. In the 200-yard race, she won in 1:47.08 with the second place swimmer finishing behind at 1:48.44, according to listed results.
Thomas, who previously swam for UPenn’s men’s team for three years before transitioning, made a name for herself breaking school and national records this year, prompting the NCAA to review its guidelines for transgender athletes.
Thomas has qualified to compete in March at the 2022 NCAA swimming and diving championships, where she is set to race in the women’s 200-yard, 500-yard and 1,650-yard freestyle.
The NCAA Board of Governors approved new guidelines on Wednesday that said transgender participation for each sport will be determined by the policy for the sport’s national governing body, subject to review and recommendation by an NCAA committee to the Board of Governors.
The new NCAA regulations require Thomas and transgender student-athletes to document testosterone levels, which must meet sport-specific levels, four weeks before their sport’s championship selections.
USA Swimming, swimming’s national governing body, said in a statement released on social media on Thursday that it will determine whether transgender male and female athletes can compete against those who are biologically male or female.
The organization, which oversees over 360,000 coaches, volunteers and swimmers from young age groups up to the Olympic level.
“USA Swimming firmly believes in inclusivity and the opportunity for all athletes to experience the sport of swimming in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity and expression. We also strongly believe in competitive equity, and, like many, are doing our best to learn and educate ourselves on the appropriate balance in this space,” the organization said.
Cynthia Millen, who had officiated USA Swimming meets for three decades, stepped down ahead of the U.S. Paralympics Swimming National Championships in Greensboro, N.C., in December after she “told my fellow officials that I can no longer participate in a sport that allows biological men to compete against women,” she said in a statement.
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