Trans-identified male athlete booed after defeating girls in 200-meter race

Getty Images/Steph Chambers
Getty Images/Steph Chambers

A crowd booed after a male high school student who identifies as a girl crossed the finish line ahead of his female competitors in a girls’ state championship race. Multiple female athletes later refused to applaud when he was crowned as Oregon Girls’ 6A 200-meter state champion.

Aayden Gallagher, a sophomore at McDaniel High School in Portland, Oregon, competed as a girl at the Portland Interscholastic League Championship semifinals. There, his performance qualified him for the girls' state finals.

According to The New York Post, the male athlete won the girls' state title by “two-tenths of a second.” The crowd at the meet booed when Gallagher was hailed as the Girls’ 6A 200-meter state champion.

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“Gallagher finished in first place in the 400-meter preliminary event with a 56.14 time — 0.23 seconds better than the second-place finisher,” The New York Post reported. “Gallagher finished second in the 200-meter preliminary event with a time of 24.49 — about 0.17 slower than the first-place finisher.”

In a post on X Saturday, former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines sarcastically referred to the situation as, “Another proud moment for women’s sports!” The women’s sports advocate shared a video of a crowd booing as Gallagher crossed the finish line. 

“Aayden Gallagher (male) just placed 1st in the Oregon state championship in the women's 200m after placing 2nd in the 400m,” Gaines wrote. “Just listen to the audible BOOS. People are over this...& it's about time.” 

Gaines, an advocate for fairness in women's sports, has repeatedly shared her story of being forced to compete against trans-identifying athlete Lia (Will) Thomas during the 2022 National College Athletics Association championships. 

According to Gaines, the NCAA forced female athletes to not only compete against Thomas, but also to undress in the same locker room where Thomas' male genitals were exposed to the women and they completely were exposed to him. And despite tying with the male athlete for fifth place in the 200-yard freestyle, Gaines said an NCAA official told her that Thomas needed to hold the trophy for photo op purposes.

In a separate post on X about the Oregon meet, Gaines wrote: "Look at the girls on the podium applauding when 2nd place (the rightful winner) is announced. Then watch them when the [boy’s] name is announced. Stop saying girls are okay with this because they aren't. This is heartbreaking and deeply regressive."

McDaniel High School did not respond to The Christian Post’s request for comment. 

The Oregon School Activities Association handbook states that students can compete on the athletic team that aligns with their self-declared gender identity, explaining that the policy was developed alongside the Oregon Department of Education. 

“The OSAA endeavors to allow students to participate for the athletic or activity program of their consistently asserted gender identity while providing a fair and safe environment for all students,” the handbook stated.

“As with Rule 8.2 regarding Duration of Eligibility / Graduation, rules such as this one promote harmony and fair competition among member schools by maintaining equality of eligibility and increase the number of students who will have an opportunity to participate in interscholastic activities.”

In addition, the OSAA handbook states that “once a transgender student has notified the student’s school of their gender identity, the student shall be consistently treated as that gender for purposes of eligibility for athletics and activities, provided that if the student has tried out or participated in an activity, the student may not participate during that same season on a team of the other gender.”

The report about the crowning of the male runner in Oregon comes not long after five middle school girls in West Virginia sat out a track and field meet in April. The girls were protesting the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision striking down a state law banning biological male athletes from competing in women's sports. 

Earlier this month, Judge Thomas Bedell of the Circuit Court of Harrison County, West Virginia, sided with the female athletes after the girls filed a lawsuit against the Harrison County Board of Education. The school district allegedly retaliated against them for sitting out a track and field competition. 

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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