by WorldTribune Staff, December 1, 2021
As a freshman, sophomore, and junior, Will Thomas competed for the University of Pennsylvania men’s swimming team with varying results.
After taking a year off to transition, Thomas returned to U Penn’s team as a female swimmer named Lia and has been dominating the competition.
In a Nov. 20 meet between Penn, Princeton, and Cornell, Lia Thomas “blasted the number one 200 free time and the second-fastest 500 free time in the nation … breaking Penn program records in both events,” the Swim Swam website noted, adding that Thomas “swept” the free individual events and helped earn first-place in the 400 free relay.
“Thomas began the day with a 1:43.47 (24.6/26.2/26.4/26.1) to win the 200 free,” Swim Swam reported. “Only half a second off the NCAA A cut, it is the second-fastest women’s 200 free time in the nation so far this season, and it would have scored in the A final at 2021 NCAA Championships.”
Thomas beat his teammate by 6.1 seconds to win the 100 meter freestyle event. Thomas won the 500 free by 12.9 seconds before anchoring U.Penn’s 400 free relay and winning the event by 2.4 seconds over Princeton.
In November, Thomas dominated the 200 free and 100 free in another competition “with margins of 5.4 seconds and 1.3 seconds.”
Thomas told Penn Today: “Being trans has not affected my ability to do this sport, and being able to continue is very rewarding.”