A collegiate swimmer for the University of Pennsylvania is dominating in the pool following the athlete's transition from male to female.
Lia Thomas, a biological male who identifies as female, swam for Penn's men's swimming team for three years in NCAA Division I competition.
Thomas took a year off from competition to transition and returned as a commanding force in the water.
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Since joining Penn's women's swimming and diving roster, Thomas has achieved more top placements than in prior years.
Well of course women’s records are being smashed! https://t.co/tMBrgCLkXX— Linda Blade (@coachblade) November 30, 2021
Lia competed as male for first three years in #NCAA.
This is not right!
We need to return to #SexBasedSports!
#SexNotGender to preserve fairness for female athletes. pic.twitter.com/AcDvx7MTIB
At a tri-meet for the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, and Princeton University on Nov. 20, "Thomas blasted the number one 200 free time and the second-fastest 500 free time in the nation ... breaking Penn program records in both events," according to a collegiate swimming report.
Thomas won the 100 free, 200 free, and 500 free, sweeping the events, and also helped Penn win the 400 free relay.
Penn’s Lia Thomas Breaks 200/500 Free Records in Meet with Princeton, Cornell https://t.co/wlcbu7tpb1 via @swimswamnews— SwimSwam (@swimswamnews) November 30, 2021
Thomas is reportedly beating the competition by significant margins.
"Thomas began the day with a 1:43.47 (24.6/26.2/26.4/26.1) to win the 200 free," the report said. "Only half a second off the NCAA A cut, it is the second-fastest women's 200 free time in the nation so far this season, and it would have scored in the A final at 2021 NCAA Championships."
Thomas defeated one teammate by 6.1 seconds in the 100 free, took the 500 free by 12.9 seconds, and anchored the 400 free to defeat Princeton.
Thomas said the transition has had no effect on performance.
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"The process of coming out as being trans and continuing to swim was a lot of uncertainty and unknown around an area that's usually really solid," Thomas said. "Being trans has not affected my ability to do this sport, and being able to continue is very rewarding."