A 22-year old transgender swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania has continued her sheer dominance in the swimming world — setting numerous pool, meet and program records at a three-day event in Ohio last weekend.
On Friday, Lia Thomas destroyed her competition in the 500-yard freestyle preliminaries and finals at the Zippy Invitational at the University of Akron. In the finals, Thomas notched a winning time of 4:34.06, which was good enough for a new Ivy League record.
The very next day, Thomas continued smashing records with a nearly 7-second victory in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:41.93 — representing the fastest finish in the country. Thomas also set a new program, meet and pool record in the 1650-yard freestyle. She finished that race in 15:59.71 — more than 38 seconds ahead of second-place finisher.
Thomas competed for two full seasons at Penn as a man before making her transition.
“(Swimming) is a huge part of my life and who I am. I’ve been a swimmer since I was 5 years old,” Thomas told Penn Today last June.
“Being trans has not affected my ability to do this sport and being able to continue is very rewarding.”
Thomas’ current best times racing for the women’s team:
200 free: 1:41.93
500 free: 4:34:06
1650 free: 15:59.71
Thomas’ best times racing as a male the first three years at Penn:
200 Free … 1:39.31
500 Free … 4:18.72
1,650 Free … 14:54.76
NCAA women’s swimming records:
200 free: 1:39:10 (Missy Franklin)
500 free: 4:24:06 (Katie Ledecky)
1650 free: 15:03:31 (Katie Ledecky)
Here is the NCAA’s policy on trans athletes:
“A trans female treated with testosterone suppression medication may continue to compete on a men’s team but may not compete on a women’s team without changing it to a mixed team status until completing one year of testosterone suppression treatment,” the NCAA’s policy states.
“A trans male who has received a medical exemption for treatment with testosterone is no longer eligible to compete on a women’s team without changing that team status to a mixed team.”