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HomeEducationTransgender Swimmer Smashes State Championship Record For Women’s Swimming

Transgender Swimmer Smashes State Championship Record For Women’s Swimming

Mehan Cortex-Fields, a New Jersey swimmer on the Ramapo College Women’s Swim team, just broke the previous New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) championship record during the championship, hosted in College Park, MD. That record was in the 200 IM, which Cortez-Fields won with a time of 2:08:20.  This is the second record that Cortez-Fields, who is transgender, has broken in three months.

The first record the swimmer broke was in November of 2023, in the 100-yard butterfly. Cortez-Fields won that event with a time of 57.22, beating the previous Ramapo College record for the event. During that same meet, Cortez-Fields also won the 200-yard butterfly event.

OutSports, reporting on Cortez-Fields’ record-breaking NJAC 200 IM, noted that Cortez-Fields “was also in position to add to the small list of transgender student-athletes who have won a conference title at any level of her sport. The last one to do so, as far as we know, was the person who inspired her to stay in the sport through her transition: 2022 NCAA Division I national swim champion Lia Thomas.

Cortez, commenting on Lia Thomas, whose case was used by women’s sports activist Riley Gaines to draw attention to transgender individuals participating in women’s sports, said, “Thomas is an inspiration to me in that way, but also I felt so bad for her because I know exactly what she was going through. I think I’m in a very unique position being one of the first here at Ramapo. I hope that people can see what I’m going through and to show I can do this.”

Predictably, Cortez’s victory led to no small degree of backlash from conservatives. Particularly, Riley Gaines posted about the matter on X, saying

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, “Male swimmer from Ramapo College sets another school record in women’s event. Now tell me again the strides of women have made when society applauds a man for pushing us off our own podium… Title IX literally means nothing at this point.

NorthJersey.com, adding context to Gaines’ claim, said, “Title IX applies to schools, local and state educational agencies, and other institutions that receive federal assistance from the Department of Education. The purpose of Title IX is to protect people from discrimination based on sex in federally funded education programs or activities.

The issue of transgender individuals participating in women’s sports has even drawn congressional backlash. Congressman Josh Hawley, for example, posted about X on the matter after a hearing on it, saying, “The NCAA was dead wrong to force female athletes like @Riley_Gaines_ to share a locker room with biological men. The NCAA should apologize to female athletes – and stop forcing women to stand by while men take over their sports

Watch Sen. Hawley here:

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