Transgender Penn Swimmer Lia Thomas Smashes More Records At Akron Event, NCAA Titles Appear Certain

After a weekend destroying records in Akron, it appears it'll take a historic performance from a biological female swimmer to knock off Lia Thomas -- the Penn swimmer who spent three seasons swimming for the men's team as Will Thomas before becoming a transgender swimmer for the women's team -- at the NCAA Championships in March.

Lia Thomas left Akron with the nation's fastest 200 freestyle time, the nation's top time in the 500 free & 1650 time that would've had Thomas in the finals at the 2021 NCAA Championships. Thomas won the 1650 at the Akron Zippy Invitational by 38 seconds over her teammate. Her results in all three races set new Penn records along with meet and pool records.

Friday night in the 500 free, Thomas won the race by 12 seconds; she won the 200 free by seven seconds.

Thomas' current best times racing for the women's team:

200 free: 1:41.93

500 free: 4:34:06

1650 free: 15:59.71

Thomas' best times racing as a male the first three years at Penn:

200 Free … 1:39.31

500 Free … 4:18.72

1,650 Free … 14:54.76

NCAA women's swimming records:

200 free: 1:39:10 (Missy Franklin)

500 free: 4:24:06 (Katie Ledecky)

1650 free: 15:03:31 (Katie Ledecky)

The NCAA's policy on trans athletes is as follows:

“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,” the NCAA’s policy states.

“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.”

Written by
Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America. Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league. Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.