First Openly Non-Binary Runner Wins National Title

Videos by OutKick

Nikki Hiltz’s 2023 campaign got even better Saturday night as the 28-year-old middle distance runner used an incredible kick to secure the women’s 1500-meter national title at the 2023 USATF Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field in Oregon. In doing so, Hiltz became the first openly non-binary athlete to win an outdoor track and field championship for the United States.

Hiltz’s final 100 meters were epic. They were running in pack of five, which stayed together for much of the one-mile, four-lap race.

It seemed as though Hiltz was boxed-in for a moment as the group turned for home. And then, after making a move to the outside, they turned on the jets and blew past the other female competitors.

Hiltz not only won, but did so with ease and was even able to pull up at the end. The kick was dominant.

Hiltz’s win secured a place on Team USA for the World Championships in Hungary next month. It marked a second-straight national title in the event. Hiltz also won the 1500-meter during the indoor championships in February.

Saturday’s winning time of 4:03.10 was .34 of a second faster than the second-place finisher, Athing Mu. Mu, who won the gold medal in the 800-meter in Tokyo, was trying a new event and has not decided if she will run the 1,500 in Budapest.

Barring unforeseen circumstance, Hiltz will run next month and will make history. They are the first openly non-binary runner to represent Team USA at the World Championships.

Hiltz saw a transgender flag in the stands, which inspired them to make it their race— and did.

Nikki Hiltz is transgender.

Hiltz, who was a six-time NCAA Division-I All-American at Oregon and Arkansas, turned pro in 2018. Three years later, they came out as transgender and describes their gender as non-binary.

Hi I’m Nikki and I’m transgender. That means I don’t identify with the gender I was assigned at birth. The word I use currently to describe my gender is non-binary. The best way I can explain my gender is as fluid. Sometimes I wake up feeling like a powerful queen and other days I wake up feeling as if I’m just a guy being a dude, and other times I identify outside of the gender binary entirely.

It’s complicated and complex and something I’m still trying to navigate myself, but I’ve decided it’s time to share my gender fluidity with you all. Posting this is both exciting and terrifying but I am and always will be a firm believer that vulnerability and visibility are essential in creating social change and acceptance. So here I am, once again, coming out of a closet to be my true authentic self.

— Nikki Hiltz on International Transgender Day of Visibility in 2021, via Instagram

Now, in 2023, Hiltz is on a tear. They credit a lot of their success to improved mental health.

While mental health may play a role in Hiltz’s success, their kick is what is getting it done on the track. Seemingly nobody can keep up on the back stretch— in any event.

That was certainly the case again during the 1,500-meter! Hiltz left Mu and third-place finisher Corey McGee in the dust with a ridiculous sprint on the final 100.

Hiltz has a good chance at a World Championship win next month. Especially if they can keep kicking like they have been!

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.


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  1. Using her preferred pronoun is disrespectful to the English language!!

    Any educated reader finds it difficult to follow “they” when it refers to just one person.

    Insane. Attention grabbing behavior. It should not be tolerated.

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