Transgender Runners Cause Controversy After Winning Girls Track and Field Championships

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Posted: Mar 05, 2019 3:30 PM
Transgender Runners Cause Controversy After Winning Girls Track and Field Championships

Source: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Two male runners from Connecticut continue to dominate the field in high school girls’ track competition.

Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood are juniors in high school. Both are biological males who identify as transgender females. And, according to a report by the Associated Press, they took first and second place in the recent Connecticut open indoor track girl’s championships held on February 16.

One of their fellow athletes, high school junior Selina Soule, told the AP it isn’t fair that female runners have to compete against male runners. Soule missed qualifying for the New England regionals by just two spots.

“We all know the outcome of the race before it even starts; it’s demoralizing,” said Soule. “I fully support and am happy for these athletes for being true to themselves. They should have the right to express themselves in school, but athletics have always had extra rules to keep the competition fair.”

Miller is currently ranked as the third fastest runner in the country in the girls’ 55-meter dash, according to a report by the Daily Caller. Yearwood is said to be tied for seventh, nationally.

The boys outran female competitors as sophomores in 2018, as well.

Miller and Yearwood were featured in a segment on ABC’s “Good Morning America” in June 2018, where the two runners were described as “dominating the competition” at the outdoor state championships earlier that month.

During that interview, Miller boldly argued that female runners should just choose to work harder, rather than complain about unfairness, when facing competition against male athletes who identify as transgender.

Yearwood did acknowledge to the AP that he is indeed stronger than female runners, on account of being biologically male, but compared it to advantages other athletes might have from perfecting their form or doing extra training sessions.

“One high jumper could be taller and have longer legs than another, but the other could have perfect form, and then do better,” Yearwood told the AP. “One sprinter could have parents who spend so much money on personal training for their child, which in turn, would cause that child to run faster.”

The AP reports that Connecticut is one of 17 states that allows transgender high school athletes to compete without restrictions. Seven states have restrictions on how transgender athletes compete while in school, like requiring athletes to compete under the gender on their birth certificate, or only permitting them to participate after completing sex-reassignment procedures or hormone therapies.

The other states either have no official policy, or handle such issues on a case-by-case basis.

Former tennis star Martina Navratilova recently came under fire from LGBTQ groups for writing in The Sunday Times that it is "insane" and "cheating" that "hundreds of athletes who have changed gender by declaration and limited hormone treatment have already achieved honors as women that were beyond their capabilities as men." Navratilova has since apologized for her remarks.