Lia Thomas

Penn Transgender Swimmer Lia Thomas Wins 2nd Ivy League Title

Thomas is a transgender woman and former male swimmer for the Quakers, and has followed NCAA and Ivy League rules since she began her transition in 2019 by starting hormone replacement therapy

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University of Pennsylvania transgender athlete Lia Thomas continued her strong showing at the Ivy League women's swimming championships, setting more records while claiming her second title in two days.

Thomas won the 200-meter freestyle final Friday in a pool- and meet-record time of 1 minute, 43.12 seconds, eclipsing the marks set by Harvard’s Miki Dahlke in 2018 (1:45.00) and 2020 (1:43.78). Thomas entered the championship with the top time in the nation this year in the 200 freestyle (1:41.93).

Thomas is a transgender woman and former male swimmer for the Quakers, and has followed NCAA and Ivy League rules since she began her transition in 2019 by starting hormone replacement therapy.

Friday’s victory was closer than her win Thursday in the 500 freestyle in which she won by a half a pool length and set a pool record in a time of 4:37.32. But it sets her up to leave unbeaten in individual competition this week.

Thomas could either compete in the 100 freestyle Saturday against Yale transgender swimmer Iszac Henig, the event’s top qualifier, or the 1,650 freestyle in which Thomas in ranked No. 1. Henig is swimming for Yale’s women’s team while transitioning to male and beat Thomas in the 100 freestyle at a meet last month. Thomas finished sixth.

Henig took Thursday’s 50 freestyle final in a pool-record time of 21.93 and entered this week’s championship as the fifth-fastest qualifier in the 200 freestyle.

But he opted not to compete in that event on Friday against Thomas, the top qualifier. Instead, Henig swam in the 100 butterfly and finished third in that final with a time of 52.82, coming in behind Princeton’s Nikki Venema (52.42) and Harvard’s Abigail Carr (52.69).

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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