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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Girls want to compete -- and win -- but it's hard to beat trans athletes

It's unfair to let biological males compete in girls' track and field events, whatever their gender identity, argued four female athletes in federal appeals court, reports Casey Harper in The Center Square.

Connecticut's trans-inclusive policy violates federal Title IX law, whose “whole purpose was to ensure that girls had equal athletic opportunities to compete – and win – in girls’ sports events,” argued Alliance Defending Freedom.

Starting in 2017, two formerly male athletes began racing -- and winning -- in girls' events in Connecticut. That unfairly denied cis-female athletes state championships and "advancement opportunities," said ADF.

“Between (the two transgender athletes), they took 15 women’s state championship titles (titles held in 2016 by nine different Connecticut girls) and more than 85 opportunities to participate in higher level competitions from female track athletes in the 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons alone.”

Title IX guarantees trans athletes right to compete on teams that align with their gender identity, argues the ACLU.

Furthermore, two of the plaintiffs beat the two trans runners in several state championships in 2019 and 2020, according to the ACLU. All four plaintiffs received college track scholarships, while the transgender runners did not. Neither is on a college track team.

Past the age of 10, top male athletes are faster and stronger than top female athletes, writes Steve Magness, a performance coach and sports scientist, in The Atlantic. Males have an edge in every sport that relies on speed, strength and endurance.

When looking at elite runners — whether sprinting 100 meters or racing many miles — once athletes hit physical maturity, the best men have anywhere from a 9 to a 12 percent advantage over the best women. A significant gap can be seen in cycling, swimming, speed skating, high-jumping, and a variety of other athletic feats. The gap is even larger in sports that depend highly on strength. For example, when looking at elite weight lifters in the same weight class, the performance gap is about 24 to 30 percent.
. . . Take the queen of track and field, Allyson Felix. The 11-time Olympic medalist’s best 400-meter time ever is 49.26. In just the 2022 season, that would have put her 689th on the boys’ high-school performance list.

It's puberty, writes Magness.

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