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Penn's Thomas becomes first transgender woman to win NCAAs

Lia Thomas
Posted at 5:31 AM, Mar 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-18 05:31:16-04

ATLANTA (AP) — Lia Thomas took control in the final 100 yards of the 500-yard freestyle to make history Thursday as the first transgender woman to win an NCAA swimming championship.

Thomas, the University of Pennsylvania senior who swam at Penn State as a male, had a season-best time of 4 minutes, 33.24 seconds.

Virginia’s Emma Weyant was second at 4:34.99.

The race was close until the final 100 yards, with Weyant and Erica Sullivan of Texas pushing Thomas for the lead.

As was the case in Thursday morning in a preliminary win, Thomas was stronger at the end.

She won the preliminary race at 4:33.82.