Trans UPenn Swimmer Lia Thomas Racks Up Two Big Wins Against Harvard

Lia Thomas Penn Athletics, Facebook
Penn Athletics/Facebook

Transgender UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas racked up even more major wins Saturday, smashing women female opponents with wins in the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle races against Harvard.

The 22-year-old Thomas won the 100-yard race in 50.55 seconds, with her closest competitor coming in at a full second later at 51.51. Thomas then won the 200-yard race with a 1:47.08 finish. The second-place swimmer finished nearly a second behind at 1:48.4.

Thomas qualified to compete at the 2022 NCAA swimming and diving championships coming in March. Thomas will compete in the women’s 200-yard, 500-yard, and 1,650-yard freestyle.

This pair of wins over Harvard is just the latest in Thomas’ growing list of blowouts. Thomas dominated the Zippy Invitational Event in Akron, Ohio, finishing the 1,650-yard freestyle 38 seconds ahead of the closest competitor. Thomas also won the 500-meter freestyle with a 4:34:06 finish, breaking a record and beating the next closest competitor by a whopping 14 seconds. Thomas also won the 200-meter freestyle with a 1:41:93 final, the fastest time ever in the women’s category.

The newest wins come on the heels of the NCAA announcing that college rules for transgender athletes will be pegged to the regulations created by pro leagues and the Olympics to govern transgender athletes.

However, the announcement will not affect Thomas’ participation in UPenn swimming.

Indeed, the Ivy League came out with full-throated support of Thomas.

“Over the past several years, Lia and the University of Pennsylvania worked with the NCAA to follow all of the appropriate protocols in order to comply with the NCAA policy on transgender athlete participation and compete on the Penn women’s swimming and diving team. The Ivy League has adopted and applies the same NCAA policy,” the conference said in a Jan. 6 statement.

“The Ivy League reaffirms its unwavering commitment to providing an inclusive environment for all student-athletes while condemning transphobia and discrimination in any form,” the statement continued.

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