Female U of Penn teammate dishes on coach and transgender swimmer crushing records: ‘It’s very fake’

A female teammate of University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer Lia Thomas has spoken out after Thomas demolished school records for the sport during recent competitions.

“Pretty much everyone individually has spoken to our coaches about not liking this. Our coach [Mike Schnur] just really likes winning. He’s like most coaches. I think secretly everyone just knows it’s the wrong thing to do,” the female teammate said in an exclusive interview with Outkick.

“When the whole team is together, we have to be like, ‘Oh my gosh, go Lia, that’s great, you’re amazing.’ It’s very fake,” she continued.

The female teammate’s remarks come after Thomas, who swam for three years at the Ivy League institution as a male until this year after transitioning, broke several records not just at the University of Pennsylvania but nationally as well for female swimmers.

“Thomas’ latest round of swimming record destruction came at a three-day meet in Akron, Ohio where numerous pool, meet and program records weren’t just destroyed but lowered to a point where they may never be broken,” noted Outkick. “Friday, the Ivy League 500 freestyle record was broken. Saturday, Thomas set the nation’s best time in the 200 freestyle, which also destroyed pool, meet, and Penn program records.”

The outlet went on to report that in the 1650 freestyle final, “Thomas didn’t just win and set a new program, pool, and meet records… It was total annihilation.” The outlet added that U of Penn’s Anna Kalandadze finished a distant second, a full 38 seconds behind Thomas.

The female teammate requested anonymity because “she feared for her ability to find employment after graduating from college” for being honest about a transgender teammate.

According to the NCAA’s transgender policy:

A trans female treated with testosterone suppression medication may continue to compete on a men’s team but may not compete on a women’s team without changing it to a mixed team status until completing one year of testosterone suppression treatment.

A trans male who has received a medical exemption for treatment with testosterone is no longer eligible to compete on a women’s team without changing that team status to a mixed team.

After five meets and one invitational, Thomas is on pace to capture several NCAA titles in the coveted freestyle category. Outkick notes that current record-holders in female swimming, Olympic legends Katie Ledecky and Missy Franklin, could see theirs fall to Thomas by the end of the current season.

“The Ivy League is not a fast league for swimming, so that’s why it’s particularly ridiculous that we could potentially have an NCAA champion. That’s unheard of coming from the Ivy League,” explained Thomas’ female teammate.

“On paper, if Lia Thomas gets back down to Will Thomas’ best times, those numbers are female world records. Faster than all the times Katie Ledecky went in college. Faster than any other Olympian you can think of. His times in three events are [female] world records,” the teammate continued.

She added that one year of testosterone suppression isn’t likely to have much effect.

“One year doesn’t mean anything. What about the years of puberty as a male, the male growth you went through as a man?” the teammate said.

Jon Dougherty


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