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Penn’s Lia Thomas wins 100M, 200M freestyle races towards Harvard

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Penn swimmer Lia Thomas got here away with wins within the 100 meter and 200-meter freestyle races towards Harvard on Saturday. The victories got here days after the NCAA up to date its coverage for transgender participation and the way it will likely be decided on a sport-by-sport foundation.

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Lia Thomas of the Pennsylvania Quakers smiles after successful the 200 meter freestyle occasion throughout a tri-meet towards the Yale Bulldogs and the Dartmouth Large Inexperienced at Sheerr Pool on the campus of the College of Pennsylvania on January 8, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 
(Hunter Martin/Getty Photos)

Thomas completed the 100m race in 50.55 seconds and with the second-place competitor in at 51.51. Within the 200m race, Thomas received in 1:47.08, whereas the second-place finisher got here in 1:48.44. Thomas, who was on the Penn males’s group throughout her first three years, joined the ladies’s group after transitioning.

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The NCAA introduced that the coverage would start with the winter championships. The NCAA Division I Ladies’s Swimming & Diving Championships are set for March 16-19 on the McAuley Aquatic Heart in Atlanta.

“Primarily based on the brand new NCAA coverage put out on Wednesday, there may be nothing that may preclude Lia from racing in March on the NCAA Championships. There’s a framework, some steerage, however nothing that anyone would acknowledge as a line-in-the-sand threshold,” Braden Keith, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of SwimSwam, advised Fox Information on Thursday.

LIA THOMAS’ SWIMMING FUTURE IN THE SPOTLIGHT FOLLOWING NCAA’S UPDATED TRANSGENDER PARTICIPATION POLICY

Lia Thomas of the Pennsylvania Quakers gets ready to compete in a freestyle event during a tri-meet against the Yale Bulldogs and the Dartmouth Big Green at Sheerr Pool on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania on January 8, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Lia Thomas of the Pennsylvania Quakers will get able to compete in a freestyle occasion throughout a tri-meet towards the Yale Bulldogs and the Dartmouth Large Inexperienced at Sheerr Pool on the campus of the College of Pennsylvania on January 8, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Hunter Martin/Getty Photos)

“The inner stress throughout the sport within the final 24 hours has ramped up on USA Swimming and FINA to decide, to give you a rule or a threshold, and it is left them in sort of a troublesome spot – they’ve had this accountability, the obligation to determine what the NCAA rule is, thrust upon them, once I’m certain they had been hoping to have the ability to kick the can down the street a short time longer.”

Final month, Thomas dominated on the Zippy Invitational Occasion in Akron, Ohio. She completed the 1,650-yard freestyle 38 seconds forward of the following closest finisher, teammate Anna Sofia Kalandaze. Thomas’ successful time was 15:59:71, and her UPenn teammate Anna Kalandaze got here in second with a time of 16:37:44. 

Again on December 3, Thomas received the 500-meter freestyle with a 4:34:06 end. She completed 14 seconds forward of Kalandaze, to set the US report. The subsequent Saturday, Thomas received the 200-meter freestyle in 1:41:93, which gave her the quickest time for a feminine within the nation.

Underneath the brand new coverage introduced by the NCAA, it seems Thomas will nonetheless be eligible to race this season for Penn. The Quakers have two extra meets earlier than the tip of the common season.

The Ivy League Championships are slated for Feb. 16-19, and the Jap Faculty Athletic Convention (ECAC) Championships are Feb. 24-27.

Penn and the Ivy League each supplied help for Thomas and vowed to work with the NCAA relating to her participation for the championships.

Lia Thomas swims for Penn.

Lia Thomas swims for Penn.
(Penn Athletics)

“Penn Athletics is conscious of the NCAA’s new transgender participation coverage. In help of our student-athlete, Lia Thomas, we’ll work with the NCAA relating to her participation beneath the newly adopted requirements for the 2022 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship,” Penn Athletics stated in an announcement obtained by Fox Information.

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The Ivy League added: “The Ivy League is conscious of yesterday’s NCAA Board of Governors’ choice to replace its transgender insurance policies starting with the 2022 NCAA Winter Championships. The league will work with the College of Pennsylvania and its different member establishments to find out the mid-year eligibility influence to any of its transgender student-athletes who is perhaps affected by this choice and can present an replace when acceptable.”

Fox Information’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.



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