Two California Transgender High School Track Competitors No Show State Finals; Riley Gaines Calls ‘Em Out

Videos by OutKick

Two boys who qualified for women’s events at the California State Track and Field Championships opted not to compete in the preliminaries Friday.

Athena Ryan, from Sonoma Academy, and Lorelei Barrett of Sherman Oaks Buckley, no-showed the women’s 1600-meter run — just one week after robbing those spots from biological girls.

Last week, OutKick reported on Ryan, who won second place at the state-qualifying meet with a time of 4:55:91. He would have finished last in the men’s race.

Similarly, Barrett finished third in his qualifying race with a time of 4:49:66. He too would have finished last in the men’s meet — a full 30 seconds behind the slowest recorded men’s time for the same event.

Two California Transgender High School Track Competitors No Showed At State Finals
Athena Ryan took second place in the women’s 1600-meter race at the North Coast Meet of Champions in California. The top three athletes advanced to the State Track & Field Championships. (Twitter: @WomenAreReals)

But instead of addressing the obvious disparity, the California Interscholastic Federation is pulling the victim card for these athletes.

“The CIF is disappointed for two of our student-athletes and their families because, due to the actions of others, they found it necessary to withdraw from the State Track and Field Championships out of concern for the student’s well being,” they wrote in a statement to the Los Angeles Times.

“Due to the actions of others.” Meaning, the people advocating for fairness in women’s sports.

The CIF expressed that the organization “strongly denounces discriminatory or harassing behaviors” toward these athletes.

Because holding a sign that reads “protect female sports” is a discriminatory and harassing behavior.

California High School Track Governing Body Stands Behind Its Trans-Inclusion Policy

CIF enacted its “Gender Identity Participation” rules in 2013.

“All students should have the opportunity to participate in CIF athletics and/or activities in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity,” the policy states.

And CIF’s Associate Executive Director Brian Seymour doubled down.

“All of our athletes, all the eligible athletes, are afforded the opportunity to compete with the gender they feel most comfortable with,” he said.

Never mind how comfortable the female athletes are. As long as the trans boys feel good about themselves.

Two California Transgender High School Track Competitors No Showed At State Finals
(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

The LA Times asked five local coaches of runners competing in Friday’s 1600-meter heat how they felt about transgender athletes competing against women.

Three coaches said they would support any athlete who shows up to compete, regardless of how they identify.

The two other coaches said they believed trans athletes should run in their own separate races.

“These policies allowing male athletes to compete with girls are ripping women’s sports apart,” ICONS co-founder Kim Jones said. “Girls are suffering right now, and this concern for the boys is being placed at a higher value than safety and respect for girls.”

Riley Gaines Calls Out The No Shows

The former Kentucky swimmer tweeted about the no-shows Friday night.

“Did they realize they clearly possess an unfair advantage?” Gaines asked. “Or is that too optimistic?”

Respectfully, Riley, that’s too optimistic.

They know they have an unfair advantage. It’s undeniable.

That’s why World Athletics — the governing body for international track and field — banned transgender athletes from participating in elite women’s events.

And sure, we’re just talking about kids here. But these kids aren’t just competing for a high school gold medal. They’re competing for state records, accolades and — most importantly — college scholarships.

Trans activists will tell you this sort of thing is rare and not a big deal. But tell that to the two girls who missed out on their chance at a state championship.

And you have to be hiding under a rock if you don’t see that men taking women’s places in sports is becoming an all too common occurrence.

This year, two of the 24 women’s 1600-meter California state championship qualifiers were biological boys. What happens when that number jumps to five or 10?

Because if we continue to let this happen, if we continue to protect the feelings of trans boys over the rights of actual girls, we’re going to leave women’s sports in the dust.


Written by Amber Harding

Amber is a Midwestern transplant living in Murfreesboro, TN. She spends most of her time taking pictures of her dog, explaining why real-life situations are exactly like "this one time on South Park," and being disappointed by the Tennessee Volunteers.


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  1. These BOYS are already failures as kids, now they’re being groomed to be failures as MEN. Until they start to think for themselves and put away the victim card, they’ll never amount to anything in society except as another statistical mentally ill person

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