Trans swimmers post top times in Ivy League women’s relay

Iszac Henig Lia Thomas Trans swimmers
Iszac Henig and Lia Thomas. Images: Instagram

Two trans swimmers posted the fastest times in the 800-yard freestyle at this week’s Ivy League Swimming and Diving Championships. Pennsylvania’s Lia Thomas and Yale’s Iszac Henig duelled for first place during the first leg of the relay.

Although Lia Thomas trailed Iszac Henig for much of the first leg, she overtook him in the last lap and put her team in the lead. The pair achieved the top two times in the relay with Lia Thomas touching at 1:44.50 and Iszac Henig at 1:44.65.

Despite those times, neither Pennsylvania nor Yale took out the race with Harvard claiming victory by race end.

Earlier in the week, Lia Thomas won the 500-yard (457m) freestyle event, her first-ever individual title. Her time of 4:37.32 broke the record at that pool previously set by 2012 Olympian Kate Ziegler.

Changing rules

Lia Thomas began her transition over two years ago. She, therefore, met National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) guidelines which require transgender women athletes to complete at least a year of testosterone suppression treatment before competing on women’s teams.

However, in January, the NCAA said it would in the future match the guidelines of each sport’s national governing body. USA Swimming then required transgender women to possess a testosterone level of 10 nmols/L or lower. However, USA Swimming consequently instituted stricter guidelines requiring a testosterone threshold of 5 nmols/L or lower. The NCAA announced they would delay the adoption of the new rules until after the current season.

Iszac Henig is transitioning from female to male and has not undergone any hormone treatment thus making him eligible to compete in women’s races.

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