There has been a lot of news about University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas who recently competed in a high-profile swim meet and parents are fuming after a swim meet turned into the battle of the boys.
Yale swimmer Iszac Henig, who is transitioning (from female to male) also took part in the meet and beat Thomas in the women’s 100-yard freestyle.
Parents were stunned.
“I wasn’t prepared for that. Everything is messed up. I can’t wrap my head around this. The NCAA needs to do something about this. They need to put science into the decision and discussion,” a UPenn parent, who wanted to remain anonymous, told DailyMail.com.
Another parent said: “A man just crushed the women’s team.”
Competing against Ivy League rivals Dartmouth and Yale, Thomas won the first of her four races by just two seconds – one month after she shattered two women’s records with a 38-second margin against her closest competitor. She also narrowly won the 500-yard freestyle by a second, with bystanders telling DailyMail.com that she seemed to be ‘coasting’ and ‘barely trying’.
But stunned parents at the meet held at UPenn’s pool in Philadelphia gasped as Yale swimmer Iszac Henig easily beat out his opponents in the women’s 100-yard freestyle with a time of 49.57 seconds. Thomas finished fifth with a time of 52.84 seconds.
Henig, a 20-year-old from Palo Alto, California, has delayed hormone treatments to finish his career on Yale’s women’s team as he transitions from female to male.
In the women’s 400-yard freestyle relay, Henig again crushed Thomas and his other competitors, finishing in 50.45 seconds to power Yale to victory in the meet. Thomas finished her leg of the race in 51.94 seconds.
During a meet in Ohio, witnesses say Thomas is trying to make things look closer than they appear to actually be. During a race Thomas kept opponents close only to easily surge to a five-second lead in the final moments of the race.
The University of Pennsylvania banned spectators from attending the team’s final meet, citing COVID concerns, and defended allowing Thomas on the team.
“As a member of the NCAA, Penn is governed by the policies of the national governing body,” Penn Athletics wrote on Twitter.
“Lia Thomas has met or exceeded all NCAA protocols over the past two years for a transgender male student-athlete to compete for a women’s team. She will continue to represent the Penn women’s swimming team in competition this season.”