Transgender California high school runner's 2nd-place finish in girls race draws backlash

Posted 16 days ago


The California high school sports governing body came under fire Sunday after a transgender athlete finished in second place in the CIF-North Coast Section Meet of Champions.

Athena Ryan finished in second place in the varsity girls 1,600-meter run finals on Saturday. Ryan of Sonoma Academy finished behind Hanne Thomsen of Montgomery and ahead of Ellie Buckley of Campolindo. Ryan will advance to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) State Track & Field Championships next week.

The Independent Council on Women’s Sports noted Ryan’s finish on social media.

According to the social media account WomenAreReal, some women held up a banner at the meet that read, "Protect Female Sports."

One woman told another woman who was holding the banner, "I find that f---ing offensive." Another video showed security chasing down the women who were holding the banner.

Ryan, a junior, appeared to undeterred by the protests and controversy. Ryan finished with a 4:55.91 time result.

"I wasn’t expecting that. I dropped like 17 seconds on my season’s best in the past two weeks," Ryan told MileSplit after the race. "After last weekend, I didn’t think I could run low 5s again. I was just coming here trying to break 5 – just glad I finished it out."... (Read more)