Penn's Lia Thomas may have dominated Ivy Championships but tougher competition awaits at NCAAs

Thomas won the 100, 200 e 500 freestyle events during the course of the week as she gets ready for the NCAA Championships in March. Thomas swam a 47.63 nel 100, 1:43.12 nel 200, e 4:37.32 nel 500. While Thomas finished with the quickest times in the Ivy Championships, the transgender swimmer wasn’t the fastest in the nation.

CLICCA QUI PER MAGGIORE COPERTURA SPORTIVA .

University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas smiles on the podium after winning the 500 freestyle during the 2022 Ivy League Womens Swimming and Diving Championships at Blodgett Pool on February 17, 2022, a Cambridge, Massachusetts.

University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas smiles on the podium after winning the 500 freestyle during the 2022 Ivy League Womens Swimming and Diving Championships at Blodgett Pool on February 17, 2022, a Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

There were several other conference championships taking place last week. Some of the top teams in the CSCAA Top 25 were in action, including No. 1 Virginia, No. 3 Tennessee, No. 4 N.C. Stato e no. 11 Louisville. For Thomas, it could be a bit of a preview of what’s to come when she gets to face off against some of the top swimmers next month.

Thomas finished in fifth place among some of the other competitors who participated in their conference championships last week. Virginia’s Katherine Douglass and Gretchen Walsh were the stars of the 100 gratuito. Douglass won the ACC Championship with a 46.81 and Walsh finished with a 46.86. N.C. State’s Katharine Berkoff had a 46.89 and Morgan Scott, di Alabama, aveva un 47.32

Thomas had a dominating 200 free at the Ivies. And compared to the rest of the nation, the transgender swimmer finished pretty high. Thomas’ 1:43.12 was good for third. Virginia’s Alexandra Walsh had a 1:42.28, which was good for the ACC title, and Kentucky’s Riley Gaines won the SEC Championship with a 1:42.62. Brooklyn Douthwright, of Tennessee, finito con un 1:43.45

Nel 500 gratuito, Thomas put together another top three performance for the week. She finished with a 4:37.32. SEC champion Julia Mrozinski, of Tennessee, aveva un 4:35.95. Virginia’s Emma Weyant, the ACC champion, aveva un 4:37.23. Thomas’ time was better than Alabama’s Kensey McMahon, who had a 4:38.34, and Tennessee’s Kristen Stege who swam a 4:38.50.

Thomas had a dominant weekend, setting a few meet and pool records. The swimmer was even named the High-Point Swimmer of the Meet.

University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas reacts after her team wins the 400 yard freestyle relay during the 2022 Ivy League Womens Swimming and Diving Championships at Blodgett Pool on February 19, 2022, a Cambridge, Massachusetts.

University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas reacts after her team wins the 400 yard freestyle relay during the 2022 Ivy League Womens Swimming and Diving Championships at Blodgett Pool on February 19, 2022, a Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

PENN’S LIA THOMAS NARROWLY BEATS YALE’S ISZAC HENIG IN 100 FREE AT IVY LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPS

But the competition Thomas goes into next will be against some of the top swimmers in the nation.

With the potential for greatness in Atlanta next month comes the debate that has shadowed the swimmer’s 2021-22 season – whether transgender female athletes should compete against biological females.

Thomas had some support at Blodgett Pool last week. Un “8 Against Hatesign was displayed above the pool between flags representing each of the Ivy League member schools, and several athletes were seen wearing shirts with the same slogan.

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Lo scorso mese, the debate finally reached the NCAA’s doorstep. The governing body for college athletics announced its updated transgender participation policy, saying eligibility would be determined on a sport-by-sport basis. If there is no national governing body for the sport, then the NCAA sport will follow the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) politica. The NCAA said its policy would become effective in March, starting with the Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, marzo 16-19.

Il feb. 1, USA Swimming updated its policy requiring transgender athletes who are competing at an elite level to have small levels of testosterone – half of what Thomas was allowed to compete with – for at least 36 months before being eligible. Thomas’ future in the pool was immediately uncertain.

Pennsylvania's Lia Thomas, destra, is congratulated by Harvard's Samantha Shelton after Thomas set a meet and pool record in the 200-yard freestyle final at Ivy League women's swimming and diving championships Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, a Cambridge, Massa.

Pennsylvania’s Lia Thomas, destra, is congratulated by Harvard’s Samantha Shelton after Thomas set a meet and pool record in the 200-yard freestyle final at Ivy League women’s swimming and diving championships Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, a Cambridge, Massa. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

tuttavia, the NCAA said last week the Administrative Subcommittee of the Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports (CMAS) decided that it wouldn’t alter its testosterone guidance after all, stating thatimplementing additional changes at this time could have unfair and potentially detrimental impacts on schools and student-athletes intending to compete in 2022 NCAA women’s swimming championships.

The decision cleared the way for Thomas to compete in the NCAA Championships.

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