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Transgender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas was crushed in the 100-yard freestyle, finishing fifth, after being beaten by another transgender swimmer who is transitioning from female to male. 

Earlier, Thomas won the first of 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 500m freestyle by just a second, with bystanders telling DailyMail.com she was ‘coasting’ and seemed to be ‘barely trying’.

But stunned parents at the meet gasped as Yale swimmer, Iszak Henig, easily beat out his opponents in the women’s 100-meter freestyle, with a time of 49.57 seconds. Thomas, who finished fifth, finished with a time of 52.84 seconds. 

Henig, who is transitioning from female to male, also finished first in the earlier 50-yard freestyle, smashing records. After the race, the 20-year-old, who has had his breasts removed, pulled down the top of his swimsuit. 

Parents at the swim meet said they were stunned as Henig won the women’s race. 

‘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.’

Trangender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas has won the first of four races by just two seconds - one month after she shattered two women's records with a 38-second margin against her closes competitor. She is pictured after the race

Trangender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas has won the first of four races by just two seconds - one month after she shattered two women's records with a 38-second margin against her closes competitor. She is pictured after the race

Trangender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas has won the first of four races by just two seconds – one month after she shattered two women’s records with a 38-second margin against her closes competitor. She is pictured after the race

Trangender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas was crushed in the 100-meter freestyle, finishing fifth - after being beaten by another transgender swimmer, Iszac Henig (left) who is transitioning from female to male. On Saturday, Henig also finished first in the earlier 50-yard freestyle, smashing records. After the race, the 20-year-old, who has had his breasts removed, pulled down the top of his swimsuit

Trangender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas was crushed in the 100-meter freestyle, finishing fifth - after being beaten by another transgender swimmer, Iszac Henig (left) who is transitioning from female to male. On Saturday, Henig also finished first in the earlier 50-yard freestyle, smashing records. After the race, the 20-year-old, who has had his breasts removed, pulled down the top of his swimsuit

Trangender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas was crushed in the 100-meter freestyle, finishing fifth – after being beaten by another transgender swimmer, Iszac Henig (left) who is transitioning from female to male. On Saturday, Henig also finished first in the earlier 50-yard freestyle, smashing records. After the race, the 20-year-old, who has had his breasts removed, pulled down the top of his swimsuit

Lia Thomas, pictured in lane two (far right), came fifth in the 100 yard freestyle, while Iszac Henig, pictured in lane four (center), won the race

Lia Thomas, pictured in lane two (far right), came fifth in the 100 yard freestyle, while Iszac Henig, pictured in lane four (center), won the race

Lia Thomas, pictured in lane two (far right), came fifth in the 100 yard freestyle, while Iszac Henig, pictured in lane four (center), won the race

Stunned parents gasped as Yale swimmer, Iszak Henig, easily beat out his opponents in the women's 100-meter freestyle, with a time of 49.57 seconds. Thomas, who finished fifth, finished with a time of 52.84 seconds.

Stunned parents gasped as Yale swimmer, Iszak Henig, easily beat out his opponents in the women's 100-meter freestyle, with a time of 49.57 seconds. Thomas, who finished fifth, finished with a time of 52.84 seconds.

Stunned parents gasped as Yale swimmer, Iszak Henig, easily beat out his opponents in the women’s 100-meter freestyle, with a time of 49.57 seconds. Thomas, who finished fifth, finished with a time of 52.84 seconds.

Earlier, Thomas won the first of four races by just two seconds - one month after she shattered two women's records with a 38-second margin against her closest competitor

Earlier, Thomas won the first of four races by just two seconds - one month after she shattered two women's records with a 38-second margin against her closest competitor

Earlier, Thomas won the first of four races by just two seconds – one month after she shattered two women’s records with a 38-second margin against her closest competitor

Thomas also narrowly won the 500m freestyle by just a second, with bystanders telling DailyMail.com she was 'coasting' and seemed to be 'barely trying'

Thomas also narrowly won the 500m freestyle by just a second, with bystanders telling DailyMail.com she was 'coasting' and seemed to be 'barely trying'

Thomas also narrowly won the 500m freestyle by just a second, with bystanders telling DailyMail.com she was ‘coasting’ and seemed to be ‘barely trying’

While another said that Thomas, whose dominence in the pool was displayed at a meet in October where she smashed two women’s records, ‘didn’t even try. She looked very relaxed.’ 

Henig still competes on the Ivy League school’s women’s team after coming out to coaches and teammates in April 2021, and told the New York Times in July that he was not taking hormones because he still wanted to compete. 

‘As a student athlethe, coming out as a trans guy put me in a weird position. I could start hormones to align more with myself, or wait, transition socially, and keep competing on a women’s swim team. I decided on the latter,’ he wrote in an opinion piece. 

‘I value my contributions to the team and recognize that my boyhood doesn’t hinge on whether there’s more or less testosterone running through my veins. At least, that’s what I’ll try to remember when I put on the women’s swimsuit for the competition and am reminded of a self I no longer feel attached to.’ 

Earlier, Thomas won the first of four races by just two seconds – one month after she shattered two women’s records with a 38-second margin against her closes competitor. 

In a less dominent display than in Ohio, Thomas swam slightly behind her closest competitor for most of the race, before pulling ahead at the end in the final heat. In the first heat, she finished about five second ahead of her closest competitor

In a less dominent display than in Ohio, Thomas swam slightly behind her closest competitor for most of the race, before pulling ahead at the end in the final heat. In the first heat, she finished about five second ahead of her closest competitor

In a less dominent display than in Ohio, Thomas swam slightly behind her closest competitor for most of the race, before pulling ahead at the end in the final heat. In the first heat, she finished about five second ahead of her closest competitor

On Saturday, Thomas was cheered to victory as won her first race of four - the 200m freestyle, finishing 1.48.73, with her closest competitor just two seconds behind her. She is pictured before the race

On Saturday, Thomas was cheered to victory as won her first race of four - the 200m freestyle, finishing 1.48.73, with her closest competitor just two seconds behind her. She is pictured before the race

On Saturday, Thomas was cheered to victory as won her first race of four – the 200m freestyle, finishing 1.48.73, with her closest competitor just two seconds behind her. She is pictured before the race

UPenn’s swim meet on Saturday against Dartmouth and Yale is the Penn team’s first since October when Lia Thomas blew away the competition and shattered two national women’s records last month at the Zippy International in Akron, Ohio.

Henig still competes on the Ivy League school's women's team after coming out to coaches and teammates in April 2021, and told the New York Times in July that he was not taking hormones because he still wanted to compete

Henig still competes on the Ivy League school's women's team after coming out to coaches and teammates in April 2021, and told the New York Times in July that he was not taking hormones because he still wanted to compete

Henig still competes on the Ivy League school’s women’s team after coming out to coaches and teammates in April 2021, and told the New York Times in July that he was not taking hormones because he still wanted to compete

Such was her dominance in the 1,650-yard freestyle that second placed swimmer Anna Kalandadze, a UPenn teammate, finished 38 seconds behind her.

On Saturday, she was cheered to victory as won her first race of four – the 200m freestyle, finishing 1.48.73, with her closest competitor just two seconds behind her. 

In a less dominent display than in Ohio, Thomas swam slightly behind her closest competitor for most of the race, before pulling ahead at the end in the final heat. In the first heat, she finished about five second ahead of her closest competitor.

UPenn’s final home event of the season took place behind closed doors, with only media and a few dozen family members present after college officials announced last week that general spectators were banned for the meet with Yale and Dartmouth, citing Covid concerns.

DailyMail.com revealed last week that a number of Thomas’s teammates had considered boycotting the gala over her participation but were worried about being labeled transphobic and banned from the Ivy League championship in February.

‘How convenient that they have now avoided this potential conflict that they’re now aware was going to take place,’ a parent told DailyMail.com.

On Thursday, UPenn and the Ivy League publicly reaffirmed their support for Thomas, pointing out that she is following the rules established by the NCAA.

‘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.’ 

Thomas warmed up in the practice pool ahead of her first race on Saturday

Thomas warmed up in the practice pool ahead of her first race on Saturday

Thomas warmed up in the practice pool ahead of her first race on Saturday

The University of Pennsylvania last week banned spectators from Saturday’s meet along with other winter sporting events due to a rise in COVID-19 cases. There were about 200 people in the bleachers – with each swimmer and coach allotted two guests. 

One parent of a swimmer on the UPenn women’s team said the university’s decision was disappointing and questioned the timing of the announcement – just a day after DailyMail.com reported that some of the swimmers had considered boycotting the event over objections to Thomas’s participation.

Trangender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas has won the first of four races with a two-second gap in front of her closest competitor - months after she shattered two women's records

Trangender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas has won the first of four races with a two-second gap in front of her closest competitor - months after she shattered two women's records

Trangender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas has won the first of four races with a two-second gap in front of her closest competitor – months after she shattered two women’s records

‘The parents were really amped up for this final home meet, the senior recognition, a chance to show glowing support for the team and for the girls. And now that opportunity is not going to be available.’

Thomas came out as transgender in 2019 and under NCAA rules was eligible to switch from the men’s team to the women’s after taking a year of testosterone suppressants.

But the 22-year-old’s dominance has outraged some of her teammates and prompted the resignation of veteran USA Swimming official Cynthia Millen, who said it was grossly unfair for ‘biological men’ to compete with women. 

Thomas appeared to shrug off the discord as exclusive DailyMail.com images captured her team being put through its paces at the Olympic-sized pool at Sailfish Splash Waterpark, a municipal aquatic center that hosts NCAA training while the slides and attractions are closed to the public over the winter.

The UPenn athletes were escorted to and from their hotel by security and a female guard kept a close eye on the twice-daily sessions.

Thomas was seen walking into the outdoors venue in silence but looked relaxed and at ease with her teammates as they stood around the pool chatting and sharing a picnic meal in the bleachers.

Before coming out as transgender Thomas swam for UPenn’s men team for three years before the 2020-21 season was cancelled due to the pandemic. She competed as a man as recently as November 2019.

In her senior year Thomas joined the women’s team after adhering to the NCAA’s Policy for Transgender Student-Athlete Participation which allows someone born male to participate as a woman after ‘completing one calendar year of testosterone suppression treatment.’

The swim meet is the Penn team's first since October when Lia Thomas blew away the competition and shattered two national women's records last month at the Zippy International in Akron, Ohio. Pictured: Thomas training with the team at Sailfish Splash Waterpart in Florida

The swim meet is the Penn team's first since October when Lia Thomas blew away the competition and shattered two national women's records last month at the Zippy International in Akron, Ohio. Pictured: Thomas training with the team at Sailfish Splash Waterpart in Florida

The swim meet is the Penn team’s first since October when Lia Thomas blew away the competition and shattered two national women’s records last month at the Zippy International in Akron, Ohio. Pictured: Thomas training with the team at Sailfish Splash Waterpart in Florida

On Thursday, UPenn and the Ivy League publicly supported Thomas competing in swim meets. '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.' Pictured: Thomas stands next to the pool at training earlier this week

On Thursday, UPenn and the Ivy League publicly supported Thomas competing in swim meets. '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.' Pictured: Thomas stands next to the pool at training earlier this week

On Thursday, UPenn and the Ivy League publicly supported Thomas competing in swim meets. ‘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.’ Pictured: Thomas stands next to the pool at training earlier this week

Thomas's dominance has outraged some of her teammates and prompted the resignation of veteran USA Swimming official Cynthia Millen, who said it was grossly unfair for 'biological men' to compete with women. Pictured: Lia and a teammate after a practice session in Florida

Thomas's dominance has outraged some of her teammates and prompted the resignation of veteran USA Swimming official Cynthia Millen, who said it was grossly unfair for 'biological men' to compete with women. Pictured: Lia and a teammate after a practice session in Florida

Thomas’s dominance has outraged some of her teammates and prompted the resignation of veteran USA Swimming official Cynthia Millen, who said it was grossly unfair for ‘biological men’ to compete with women. Pictured: Lia and a teammate after a practice session in Florida

DailyMail.com revealed that a number of Thomas's teammates had considered boycotting the gala over her participation but were worried about being labeled transphobic and banned from the Ivy League championship in February

DailyMail.com revealed that a number of Thomas's teammates had considered boycotting the gala over her participation but were worried about being labeled transphobic and banned from the Ivy League championship in February

DailyMail.com revealed that a number of Thomas’s teammates had considered boycotting the gala over her participation but were worried about being labeled transphobic and banned from the Ivy League championship in February

Thomas came out as transgender in 2019 and under NCAA rules was eligible to switch from the men's team to the women's after taking a year of testosterone suppressants

Thomas came out as transgender in 2019 and under NCAA rules was eligible to switch from the men's team to the women's after taking a year of testosterone suppressants

Thomas came out as transgender in 2019 and under NCAA rules was eligible to switch from the men’s team to the women’s after taking a year of testosterone suppressants

Despite setting three school records and two national records, Thomas shrugged off the furor in a recent interview, telling swimming news site SwimSwam: ‘It’s not healthy for me to read it and engage with it at all, and so I don’t, and that’s all I’ll say on that.’

Her teammates have been less accepting of Thomas’s post-transition feats, however. Days after the Zippy International, two swimmers complained anonymously to the media about a ‘lack of fairness’.

‘They’re having to go behind the blocks knowing no matter what, they do not have the chance to win. I think that it’s really getting to everyone,’ one told OutKick.

Days later, DailyMail.com learned that parents of about 10 swimmers on the team are demanding the NCAA change rules that have permitted Thomas to dominate.

‘At stake here is the integrity of women’s sports,’ they wrote in the letter sent to the NCAA and forwarded to the Ivy League and Penn officials.

‘The precedent being set – one in which women do not have a protected and equitable space to compete – is a direct threat to female athletes in every sport. What are the boundaries?’

Weeks later, Olympic swimming champion Nancy Hogshead-Makar declared in a column for DailyMail.com that it was not fair for biological women to have to compete against Thomas.

She likened it to racing against doped-up East Germans.

‘Trans women should compete with biological women, so long as they can demonstrate that they have lost their sex-linked, male-puberty advantage prior to competition in the women’s category,’ she wrote in the December 24 article.

‘Lia Thomas cannot make that demonstration. While she has apparently been complying with NCAA rules requiring hormone therapy for over two-and a-half years now, she is still competing with an unfair advantage.’

Thomas appeared to shrug off the discord as exclusive DailyMail.com images captured her team being put through its paces at the Olympic-sized pool at Sailfish Splash Waterpark, a municipal aquatic center that hosts NCAA training while the slides and attractions are closed to the public over the winter

Thomas appeared to shrug off the discord as exclusive DailyMail.com images captured her team being put through its paces at the Olympic-sized pool at Sailfish Splash Waterpark, a municipal aquatic center that hosts NCAA training while the slides and attractions are closed to the public over the winter

Thomas appeared to shrug off the discord as exclusive DailyMail.com images captured her team being put through its paces at the Olympic-sized pool at Sailfish Splash Waterpark, a municipal aquatic center that hosts NCAA training while the slides and attractions are closed to the public over the winter

In her senior year Thomas joined the women's team after adhering to the NCAA's Policy for Transgender Student-Athlete Participation which allows someone born male to participate as a woman after 'completing one calendar year of testosterone suppression treatment'

In her senior year Thomas joined the women's team after adhering to the NCAA's Policy for Transgender Student-Athlete Participation which allows someone born male to participate as a woman after 'completing one calendar year of testosterone suppression treatment'

In her senior year Thomas joined the women’s team after adhering to the NCAA’s Policy for Transgender Student-Athlete Participation which allows someone born male to participate as a woman after ‘completing one calendar year of testosterone suppression treatment’

Other sports icons followed suit, expressing their support for Hogshead-Makar’s argument that the rules need to be changed.

Tennis great Martina Navratilova retweeted the article, writing, ‘A well-reasoned and fair take on trans women inclusion in women’s sports.’

Her one-time competitor Chris Evert retweeted Navratilova’s statement with the caption ‘I second that.’

Evert later added: ‘Science has proved from the onset of male puberty, mainly because of high testosterone levels, male bodies are faster, stronger, and have more endurance than female bodies.’

The NCAA had yet to respond to the parents’ letter, while the university sent a terse response, claiming the school is doing what it can to help student-athletes navigate Lia’s success, sharing a link to mental health services.

Source: dailymail

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