Some Runners Angered After Biological Male Earns All-State Honors in Girl's Track

Posted: Jun 07, 2016 3:30 PM

Some people in Alaska aren't too happy after a person born biologically male but identifies as female competed against girls and won all-state honors in track and field. Nattaphon Wangyot, from Haines High School, is a senior and qualified to the state championship in the 100-meter dash. Wangyot was born male.

Some of Wangyot's competitors were not happy to have lost to a biological male, and expressed their frustration.

In all, 16 runners qualified for state. Saskia Harrison, a runner for Fairbanks’ Hutchison High School, just missed the cut with a time of 14.11 seconds, just behind fellow Hutchison runner Emma Daniels.

“‘I’m glad that this person is comfortable with who they are and they’re able to be happy in who they are, but I don’t think it’s competitively completely 100-percent fair,” Harrison told KTVA.

The mother of a runner who lost to Wangyot was pretty ticked that her daughter had to run against a biological male. Jennifer Van Pelt, whose daughter Allison ran in the 200m race, posted a status on Facebook outlining her anger, saying that she did not think it was okay:

This is an awkward situation for the school for sure. Men are faster runners than women, and DNA can't be changed. Some 30 states have set policies regarding transgender athletes' participation in sports, but it's hard to find a solution that can be both fair to all athletes and also make everyone happy. Track and field is an individual sport, unlike soccer or ice hockey where one person doesn't generally make or break a team. I don't envy school officials or the athletes in this situation.