Lia Thomas Breaks Pool Record of Olympian Kate Ziegler In 500 Freestyle Win at Ivy League Champs

Lia Thomas (Podium)

Lia Thomas Breaks Pool Record of Olympian Kate Ziegler In 500 Freestyle Win at Ivy League Champs

One night after posting the fastest split in the 800-yard freestyle relay, the University of Pennsylvania’s Lia Thomas captured her first individual title at the Ivy League Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. Thomas, a transgender woman, produced a winning time of 4:37.32, which was more than seven seconds quicker than the 4:44.83 clocked by teammate Catherine Buroker for second place.

A three-year member of Penn’s men’s team, Thomas transitioned to female during the COVID-19 pandemic and is in her first season as a member of the women’s team. Her performance at the Ivy League Champs established a Blodgett Pool record, breaking the mark of Olympian Kate Ziegler, and just missed the meet record of 4:36.37, set in 2020 by Ellie Marquardt of Princeton. Marquardt was third on Thursday night in 4:46.63.

Thomas’ victory was registered in negative-split fashion, as she covered the first half of her race in 2:19.00 and came home in 2:18.32. She had a half-second lead over Marquardt at the 200-yard mark but made a move over the third 100, giving her an almost three-second edge. She continued to build her lead over the back half of the race.

Ivy League Swimming Results

Thomas has been at the center of controversy throughout the winter, with the transgender woman viewed as having an unfair advantage against biological females due to undergoing male puberty. Supporters have argued that Thomas is simply identifying as her authentic self and deserves the opportunity to compete on a women’s team.

The Ivy League has long indicated it would allow Thomas to compete in the conference-championship meet, but there are questions as to whether Thomas will be eligible for next month’s NCAA Championships in Atlanta. To race at the season-ending meet, the NCAA has said it will require transgender women to possess a testosterone threshold of 10 nmols/L. That number is twice the threshold USA Swimming announced as part of its new transgender guidelines. The NCAA initially indicated it would follow USA Swimming’s lead but balked when the governing body released its stringent rules.

If Thomas is ruled eligible for the NCAA Championships, she will be among the top contenders for titles in the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle and 1650 freestyle. Earlier this season at the Zippy Invitational, Thomas produced the fastest times on the college circuit in the 200 free and 500 free. Her season best in the 500 freestyle is 4:34.06. Thomas also handled the second leg of Penn’s 200 freestyle relay, which finished fourth.

In the 50 freestyle, Yale’s Iszac Henig was the lone swimmer to crack the 22-second barrier, winning the event in 21.93. Second place went to Princeton’s Nikki Venema in 22.30. Henig is a transgender man, but since he has not taken testosterone, Henig remains eligible to compete in the women’s meet. Henig also helped Yale win the 200 freestyle relay, which it took in 1:29.66.

The Harvard tandem of Samantha Shelton and Felicia Pasadyn went one-two in the 200 individual medley, with Shelton prevailing in 1:58.03. Pasadyn was just behind in 1:58.25.

 

 Event 3  Women 500 Yard Freestyle
=========================================================================
  Meet Record: M 4:36.37  2020      Ellie Marquardt (Princeton)
  Pool Record: P 4:37.64  2007      Kate Ziegler (Fish)
   NCAA A Std: A 4:35.76
   NCAA B Std: B 4:47.20
    Name                 Year School            Prelims     Finals Points 
=========================================================================
                            === A - Final ===                            
 
  1 Thomas, Lia            SR Penn              4:41.19    4:37.32P  32  
                 25.93        54.39 (28.46)
        1:22.78 (28.39)     1:51.14 (28.36)
        2:19.00 (27.86)     2:46.87 (27.87)
        3:14.80 (27.93)     3:42.63 (27.83)
        4:10.49 (27.86)     4:37.32 (26.83)
  2 Buroker, Catherine     SO Penn              4:47.22    4:44.83B  28  
                 26.47        54.57 (28.10)
        1:23.28 (28.71)     1:52.23 (28.95)
        2:21.32 (29.09)     2:50.29 (28.97)
        3:19.12 (28.83)     3:47.86 (28.74)
        4:16.49 (28.63)     4:44.83 (28.34)
  3 Marquardt, Ellie       SO Princeton         4:48.61    4:46.63B  27  
                 26.31        54.42 (28.11)
        1:23.05 (28.63)     1:51.66 (28.61)
        2:20.62 (28.96)     2:49.72 (29.10)
        3:18.88 (29.16)     3:48.39 (29.51)
        4:17.85 (29.46)     4:46.63 (28.78)
  4 Kalandadze, Anna Sofi  JR Penn              4:46.62    4:47.54   26  
                 26.26        54.39 (28.13)
        1:23.15 (28.76)     1:52.00 (28.85)
        2:21.10 (29.10)     2:50.42 (29.32)
        3:19.67 (29.25)     3:49.13 (29.46)
        4:18.64 (29.51)     4:47.54 (28.90)
  5 Loomis, Ashley         SR Yale              4:49.24    4:48.72   25  
                 26.93        55.96 (29.03)
        1:25.19 (29.23)     1:54.66 (29.47)
        2:24.10 (29.44)     2:53.37 (29.27)
        3:22.79 (29.42)     3:51.99 (29.20)
        4:20.75 (28.76)     4:48.72 (27.97)
  6 Ganihanova, Aziza      SO Columbia          4:48.60    4:48.88   24  
                 26.90        55.77 (28.87)
        1:24.94 (29.17)     1:54.58 (29.64)
        2:23.65 (29.07)     2:52.95 (29.30)
        3:22.23 (29.28)     3:51.87 (29.64)
        4:20.89 (29.02)     4:48.88 (27.99)
  7 Cavanagh, Erin         FR Harvard           4:47.38    4:49.04   23  
                 26.25        54.89 (28.64)
        1:23.94 (29.05)     1:53.35 (29.41)
        2:22.72 (29.37)     2:52.38 (29.66)
        3:21.96 (29.58)     3:51.58 (29.62)
        4:20.86 (29.28)     4:49.04 (28.18)
  8 Thompson, Mikki        SR Harvard           4:49.99    4:52.59   22  
                 26.82        55.47 (28.65)
        1:24.52 (29.05)     1:54.21 (29.69)
        2:24.26 (30.05)     2:54.27 (30.01)
        3:24.21 (29.94)     3:53.97 (29.76)
        4:23.75 (29.78)     4:52.59 (28.84)

 Event 4  Women 200 Yard IM
=========================================================================
  Meet Record: M 1:55.09  2013      Katie Meili (Columbia)
  Pool Record: P 1:57.11  1981      Tracy Caulkins (Nashville)
   NCAA A Std: A 1:53.66
   NCAA B Std: B 1:59.94
    Name                 Year School            Prelims     Finals Points 
=========================================================================
                            === A - Final ===                            
 
  1 Shelton, Samantha      JR Harvard           1:59.48    1:58.03B  32  
                 25.76        54.86 (29.10)
        1:30.90 (36.04)     1:58.03 (27.13)
  2 Pasadyn, Felicia       SR Harvard           1:58.86    1:58.25B  28  
                 25.42        54.27 (28.85)
        1:30.47 (36.20)     1:58.25 (27.78)
  3 Whitmire, Liza         SO Princeton         2:00.82    1:59.29B  27  
                 26.04        55.65 (29.61)
        1:30.85 (35.20)     1:59.29 (28.44)
  4 Denisenko, Aleksandra  FR Harvard           2:01.16    2:00.69   26  
                 26.58        56.92 (30.34)
        1:32.09 (35.17)     2:00.69 (28.60)
  5 Jones, Raime           JR Yale              2:02.28    2:01.24   25  
                 26.57        57.30 (30.73)
        1:32.78 (35.48)     2:01.24 (28.46)
  6 Weng, Vivian           FR Yale              2:01.64    2:01.90   24  
                 26.09        56.90 (30.81)
        1:33.33 (36.43)     2:01.90 (28.57)
  7 Buckley, Maggie        FR Harvard           2:02.15    2:01.94   23  
                 26.66        57.69 (31.03)
        1:33.33 (35.64)     2:01.94 (28.61)
 -- Yeager, Jess           SO Princeton         1:59.48         DQ  
      Head did not break the surface by 15 meters - fly
                 25.98        56.11 (30.13)
        1:30.03 (33.92)          DQ (28.46)

 Event 5  Women 50 Yard Freestyle
=========================================================================
  Meet Record: M 21.83  2019      Bella Hindley (Yale)
  Pool Record: P 22.34  2018      Bella Hindley (Yale)
   NCAA A Std: A 21.66
   NCAA B Std: B 22.76
    Name                 Year School            Prelims     Finals Points 
=========================================================================
                            === A - Final ===                            
 
  1 Henig, Iszac           JR Yale                22.17      21.93P  32  
  2 Venema, Nikki          JR Princeton           22.65      22.30P  28  
  3 Scott, Samantha        SO Brown               22.80      22.81   27  
  4 Bradley, Christina     JR Princeton           23.02      23.02   26  
  5 Wortzman, Zoe          JR Dartmouth           23.05      23.03   25  
  6 Pilkinton, Ophelia     SO Yale                23.06      23.05   24  
  7 Brenner, Mandy         FR Harvard             22.90      23.08   23  
  8 Liu, Amelia            JR Princeton           23.12      23.30   22
 Event 7  Women 200 Yard Freestyle Relay
==================================================================================
  Meet Record: M 1:29.69  2017      Yale
                          B. Hindley, K. Rogers, M. Zimmerman, K. Zhou
  Pool Record: P 1:30.50  2018      Harvard
                          M. Colby, I. Wall, J. Li, M. Dahlke
   NCAA A Std: A 1:28.43
   NCAA B Std: B 1:29.21
    School                                 Seed     Finals Points 
==================================================================================
  1 Yale                                1:30.14    1:29.66M  64  
     1) Henig, Iszac JR               2) Wagner, Lindsey SO           
     3) Pilkinton, Ophelia SO         4) Healy, Marissa SO            
                 22.29        44.70 (22.41)
        1:07.13 (22.43)     1:29.66 (22.53)
  2 Princeton                           1:31.22    1:30.38P  56  
     1) Bradley, Christina JR         2) Liu, Amelia JR               
     3) Venema, Nikki JR              4) Secrest, Jennifer JR         
                 23.02        45.66 (22.64)
        1:07.61 (21.95)     1:30.38 (22.77)
  3 Harvard                             1:32.48    1:31.90   54  
     1) Brenner, Mandy FR             2) Shelton, Samantha JR         
     3) Bullock, Addie Rose SO        4) Hamlin, Molly FR             
                 23.04        46.05 (23.01)
        1:09.47 (23.42)     1:31.90 (22.43)
  4 Penn                                1:33.67    1:32.45   52  
     1) Kaczorowski, Margot JR        2) Thomas, Lia SR               
     3) Kannan, Hannah SR             4) Carter, Camryn JR            
                 23.66        46.27 (22.61)
        1:09.25 (22.98)     1:32.45 (23.20)
  5 Brown                               1:33.70    1:32.75   50  
     1) Scott, Samantha SO            2) Reznicek, Jenna FR           
     3) Willhite, Kellie SO           4) Matsushima, Sage JR          
                 22.75        46.12 (23.37)
        1:09.25 (23.13)     1:32.75 (23.50)
  6 Columbia                            1:33.69    1:32.97   48  
     1) Wang, Emily SR                2) Macdonald, Emily FR          
     3) Young, Georgia SO             4) Arevalo, Isabelle JR         
                 23.75        46.99 (23.24)
        1:10.24 (23.25)     1:32.97 (22.73)
  7 Dartmouth                           1:36.75    1:33.08   46  
     1) Wortzman, Zoe JR              2) Post, Ashley JR              
     3) Wiener, Sophie FR             4) Leko, Mia JR                 
                 23.22        45.90 (22.68)
        1:10.12 (24.22)     1:33.08 (22.96)
  8 Cornell                             1:33.64    1:33.86   44  
     1) Wongso, Priscilla SO          2) Zhang, Tori FR               
     3) Gruvberger, Anna SO           4) Parker, Melissa JR           
                 23.47        47.37 (23.90)
        1:10.65 (23.28)     1:33.86 (23.21)
 
                     Women - Team Rankings - Through Event 7                      
 
  1. Harvard University              547.5   2. Princeton University              409
  3. Yale University                   397   4. University of Pennsylvania        381
  5. Columbia University             265.5   6. Brown University                  254
  7. Dartmouth College                 223   8. Cornell University                191
35 Comments
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avatar
L
9 months ago

Cheater: a man swimming against women.
There’s no honor in this.

avatar
Gheorghe Bardasiu
9 months ago
Reply to  L

I totally agree with your comment, disgusting!

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Stuart
9 months ago

Penn and the Ivy League should be ashamed of themselves as should Thomas. Time for him to man-up!

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Chodges
9 months ago
Reply to  Stuart

This is a total disgrace. This individual should know the inherent advantage they have and stop this circus. Honestly I feel for these female swimmers having to deal with this. I am not in any way transphobic but keep sports equal for those competing. Life is not fair and we should not placate to one small minority of people and the expense of female athletes as a whole.

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Natalie Davidson
9 months ago

Only someone who hates women could support this.

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M Rainer
9 months ago

???? Let them create new categories for trans athletes – one for women -> (notice that no woman transfer to man could ever win against men), and another for men who have trans to female. Let them race the clock if they are the only person of their trans gender present. I am totally supportive of the LGBTQ community, AND It is misogynistic to expect women born female to compete against someone born and adolesced as male. Lia should be ashamed of her behavior – race a clock, bc you know you have athletically benefited from growing up as a man .

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Michael Maloney
9 months ago
Reply to  M Rainer

….Psssssst….Katie Ledecky might have a shot without transfering to a man…lol

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Allison Gober
9 months ago

This should never be allowed. So sad that UPenn, The Ivy League and the NCAA disregard a whole group of athletes for the feelings of 1. And Thomas, being a swimmer his whole life, should understand the advantage he has over real women and care more about his teammates…but no, everyone in this whole scenario are out for themselves.

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Veritas
9 months ago

Congratulations to Catherine Buroker, the 2022 Ivy League Champion in the Women’s 500 yard freestyle!

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Season
9 months ago
Reply to  Veritas

Veritas, please. Lia beat Catherine by at least FIVE seconds. It was no contest. The best woman won and please show some respect for her. Why aren’t you also upset with Henig’s win? He is a him swimming on the her team and trans too after all.

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Tara
9 months ago
Reply to  Season

A man won. Thomas can say he ‘feels’ like a woman all he wants but that doesn’t mean anything. I feel pretty young for my age, should I join a childrens soccer league?

Also it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t actually feel like a woman at all because a woman would never do what he’s doing.. Demanding access to spaces where you don’t belong and purposely making everyone uncomfortable by flashing your genitals is male behavior and entitlement. The only good that will come of this is that more people will become aware of the harm this movement is doing to women and girls.

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Veritas
9 months ago
Reply to  Season

Lia Thomas is a man.

I’m not upset at Ms Henig competing against women because she is a woman because she is not taking male hormones like the East German swimmers were forced to take. Given what those drugs did to the East German women, I am concerned about what Ms Henig may do to herself in the future.

I am, however, not going to repeat the lies being told by the Ivy League and Penn about which woman won the 500 at the 2022 Ivy League Championships. That the most prominent collection of post secondary schools in America has chosen to promote a bizarre mythology in place of the truth bodes ill for the future of America and the Western World.

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Terry
9 months ago
Reply to  Veritas

All respect to Catherine Buroker, a true champion

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a woman
9 months ago

Liar Thomas deserves to be laughed off the podium.

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Season
9 months ago

Congrats to the Trans champions Lia Thomas and Izzi Henig! They have overcome so much transphobia hate. This will inspire black girls now also to break the rich lily white demographics of Ivy League swim teams. The unfair advantage that Ivy students have is their parent’s wealth that gave them decades of private training. So unfair to blacks and poor kids! Should be more like the basketball team demographics where the fastest, strongest and tallest are the ones on the team.
Congrats to Lia and Izzi for showing you can be whatever you want to be and not letting the Transphobic crowd or selectively woke hold her and him back. Nice to see Izzi – a him on the her team, win!

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Jason Parker
9 months ago
Reply to  Season

Uhhh….this has nothing to do with black children. This is not even in the same ball park. Lia, went from 462 ranking in men competition to 1 number in womens in one year…breaking records.

You can congratulate them and consider it a good things…but this is nothing compared to Trayvon Martin being shot dead in the street and the killer free and boasting.

avatar
Season
9 months ago
Reply to  Jason Parker

Uhh I am saying there should be more blacks in college swim teams. You are transphobic and racist for opposing my comment.

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Mia
9 months ago
Reply to  Season

It’s a man. Shouldn’t be allowed

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Khami
9 months ago
Reply to  Season

Do NOT enter Creed nor race into this nonsense!!! Black kids nor poor kids will benefit anything from the advancement of a man calling himself a woman in order to complete with biological women! Lia Thomas is a Caucasian man who should be ashamed of himself for cheating women out of their rightful place! University of Pennsylvania should be ashamed of themselves for supporting such nonsense!!! Transgender rights ARE NOT a civil rights issue! Transgender rights are a LIFESTYLE rights issue!

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OceanSpirit
9 months ago
Reply to  Khami

AMEN, Khami!!!!

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Swim fan 76
9 months ago
Reply to  Season

Yes. Black girls must be so inspired by the white guy who grew his hair out. So brave and stunning, alongside his friend, who seems to taking training tips from the East German swim team of days gone by.

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Renée
9 months ago

Congratulations to the real winner, Catherine Buroker! Mothers protect women’s sports. Gender identity ideology only seems to have a disparate impact on one group of people: girls and women. This is discrimination on the basis of sex. This mother will remember the harms done to women’s sex-based rights when it comes time to vote or when asked for a donation from a college. Save women’s sports!

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OceanSpirit
9 months ago
Reply to  Renée

That’s right!! All hail CATHERINE BUROKER!!!!!

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SETH
9 months ago

Congratulations to all the swimmers!

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Norm frogist
9 months ago

You are using the pronoun
‘she” in this article. If she is a woman what is the issue.? It seems to me that HE broke the woman’s record not she broke a woman’s record.

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OceanSpirit
9 months ago
Reply to  Norm frogist

Exactly!!!

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Marina
9 months ago

Why do real women consent to compete against this man?

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Stuart
9 months ago

“Thomas transitioned to female ” That is not possible so why say it. He thinks he is a woman and apparently that is enought for those not grounded in reality.

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OceanSpirit
9 months ago
Reply to  Stuart

I call him what he is: a man!

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XYZ
9 months ago

You got to admit he has some balls for standing on top of the women’s podium. No pun intended. Well played sir!

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Randy
9 months ago

Being the father of a transgender son, I am also ashamed that this is happening. It honestly sheds terrible light on the Transgender community.. My son also does not agree with this… This has NOTHING to do with transphobia! There are inherent differences between male and female bodies that make this completely unfair! I feel completely terrible for the women forced in complete silence over this. I am also ashamed with other members of the transgender community who think this is OK.. This does nothing but generate hate as this is obviously unfair, no medical degree is needed to prove that..

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Richard rivera
9 months ago

Thomas should not be swimming with females he is a male that could not compete in his League he decides to be transgender and jump into the women’s league and all of a sudden be number one breaking records it’s not fair for the girls that are competing legitly

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Emma
9 months ago

historic results for future people reading them, will be skewed because of this. The results in say … fifty years time, won’t say it was a trans woman winning against women – just the name. I feel so sorry for the true female winner whose name was knocked off the fastest time list. And in the century women are starting to find their voices and power too it’s taken away by men once again. Crazy and so so unfair.

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OceanSpirit
9 months ago

CONGRATULATIONS to Catherine Buroker for the win!!!!

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OceanSpirit
9 months ago

Season, stop trying to make this a black issue. It has nothing to do with race. Lia is a man racing against women. Let him go back to the men’s team and race and see what happens. He’ll be ranked 462 again and you know it. The only winner here is Catherine Buroker!!!!!!