Thomas has automatically qualified for the NCAA championships in the 200 and 500 freestyle events. His times in the 1,650 and 100 free put him in contention to be selected for those events as well, ESPN reports.
Two weeks ago 16 of his teammates wrote a letter calling for their male teammate to be banned from competition, the Washington Post reported.
“We fully support Lia Thomas in her decision to affirm her gender identity and to transition from a man to a woman. Lia has every right to live her life authentically,” the letter read. “However, we also recognize that when it comes to sports competition, that the biology of sex is a separate issue from someone’s gender identity. Biologically, Lia holds an unfair advantage over competition in the women’s category, as evidenced by her rankings that have bounced from #462 as a male to #1 as a female. If she were to be eligible to compete against us, she could now break Penn, Ivy, and NCAA Women’s Swimming records; feats she could never have done as a male athlete.”
500 free final @IvyLeague championships: Lia Thomas, formerly of the @PennSwimDive men's team, won by over 7 seconds. You can hardly see the other women swimming at the far end of the pool by the time the race is over. For the women, "it was a race for second place." pic.twitter.com/3ItZnsGMtR
— Emily Kreps (@ekreps) February 18, 2022