Andraya Yearwood, a transgender high school competitor who just finished second in the girls’ 55-meter dash at Connecticut’s state open indoor track championships, has plans to attempt to qualify for this year’s National Scholastic Athletics Foundation national championships, which are being held March 8-10, according to The Washington Times. The Washington Times added, “The group recently adopted new rules allowing pre-pubescent girls to participate with their affirmed gender, though no ages are specified. Post-pubescent transgender girls must have completed sex-reassignment surgery and ‘a sufficient amount of time must have passed’ after the operation or hormone therapy ‘to minimize gender-related competitive advantages.’”
The NSAF website, in its instructions for the outdoor championships in June, has this kind of verbiage: “Freshman and Junior High School miles are limited to first 30 entries per gender that both meet the entry standard and pay for the entry … Junior High Mile is limited to the first 30 entries per gender that both meet the entry standard and pay for the entry.”
Yearwood is a 17-year-old junior at Cromwell High School; he recently placed second behind another transgender, Terry Miller of Bloomfield High, at the state indoor open championships. Miller ran the race in 6.95 seconds; Yearwood ran it 7.01 seconds. The biological girl who finished third ran the race in 7.23 seconds.
This season, Miller also won the 300-meter race.
As The Daily Wire reported, last June when Connecticut had its State Open track and field championships at Willow Brook Park, Miller broke the State Open records for girls in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes. Yearwood finished second in the 100-meter dash.
Hillhouse coach Gary Moore told Hearst Connecticut Media at the time that Miller should be able to compete, but the situation “wasn’t fair to the girls,” adding something should be done to “level the playing field.” He stated, “I’ve been stopped by at least five coaches, all of them saying they really liked what I said in the paper. How come other coaches aren’t talking? This is a big issue a lot of coaches have, that we’ve got to do something, but how come you’re not saying anything? I’ve said what I needed to say. I’m getting a little annoyed with the coaches that we haven’t been able to get together and do what’s best for everybody.”
Selina Soule of Glastonbury High, who finished sixth in the 100 last June and had studied the literature about Title IX and competitive sports, said of the rule allowing transgender athletes to compete against persons of the opposite biological sex, “Of course, it should be that way for math and science and chorus. Sports are set up for fairness. Biologically male and female are different. The great majority is being sacrificed for the minority.”
Connecticut permits transgender high school athletes to compete without restrictions; sixteen other states have the same policy, according to Transathlete.com. Seven states have some restrictions.
Yearwood admitted he was stronger than some of the other competitors, but added there were other considerations: “One high jumper could be taller and have longer legs than another, but the other could have perfect form, and then do better. One sprinter could have parents who spend so much money on personal training for their child, which in turn, would cause that child to run faster.” The Washington Times reported that Miller said that if he felt another competitor had an unfair advantage, he would simply try harder.
Soule, who finished eighth in the 55-meter dash, thus missing out on qualifying for the New England regionals because Miller and Yearwood finished ahead of her, noted that now she wouldn’t have the opportunity to compete in front of additional college coaches. She added, “We all know the outcome of the race before it even starts; it’s demoralizing. I fully support and am happy for these athletes for being true to themselves. They should have the right to express themselves in school, but athletics have always had extra rules to keep the competition fair.”
Glenn Lungarini, executive director of the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, claimed, “This is about someone’s right to compete. I don’t think this is that different from other classes of people, who, in the not too distant past, were not allowed to compete. I think it’s going to take education and understanding to get to that point on this issue.”
Jon Forrest, whose daughter is on the same team as Soule, favors letting transgender competitors run with biological girls but putting their results in a separate category. He added, “The facts show Glastonbury would be the state champion based on cisgender girls competing against cisgender girls. You don’t realize it until you see it in person, the disparity in the ability to perform.”