A third female swimmer has spoken out to voice her frustrations of competing against UPenn transgender swimmer Lia Thomas saying that it is ‘impossible’ to beat her.

Thomas set two new national records earlier in this month when she participated in the Zippy Invitational’s female races. Before joining the UPenn men’s swim team, Thomas competed for three years. She then transitioned to hormone therapy and has been able to participate in nearly two years of hormone-treatments.  

DailyMail.com was contacted by a Niagara University swimmer, who requested anonymity because she raced Thomas against her.  

‘Swimming against Lia Thomas was intimidating,’ the senior at Niagara University  said. It was tough to enter a race when I knew there would be no way for me to win.

The collegiate athlete admitted that she knew her time could be dropped, but also realized there was no physical way for her to win the race.

A third female swimmer has spoken out to voice her frustrations of competing against UPenn transgender swimmer Lia Thomas (Pictured: Lia Thomas competing for UPenn Swim 2021)

Third female swimmer, Lia Thomas has voiced her dissatisfaction at competing against UPenn’s transgender swimmer Lia Thomas. (Photo: Lia Thomas participating in UPenn Swim 2021).

The senior from Niagara University competed against Thomas at the Zippy Invitational earlier this month when Thomas shattered two national records (Pictured: Lia Thomas is seen beating her female competitors)

Thomas, a senior at Niagara University, competed against Thomas earlier in the month at Zippy Invitational. Thomas broke two national records (Pictured Lia Thomas beat her female counterparts). 

'Swimming against Lia...I knew deep down it was going to be impossible for me to swim as fast as her,' the anonymous collegiate athlete admitted to DailyMail.com

‘Swimming against Lia…I was sure it wasn’t possible for me to swim as quickly as she,’ an anonymous collegiate athlete told DailyMail.com 

‘It’s hard working your whole life at a sport and going to big competitions and seeing someone who is more physically talented than you, however it is even more discouraging to have them right next to you and knowing you won’t ever be on the same physical level as them.’

Thomas, who had completed a year’s worth of hormone treatments in line with NCAA regulations, was able switch to the women’s team. 

Transgender swimmer shared with us that she has experienced muscle and strength losses as a result of the treatment. She is now able to swim at the same pre-transition speed as male swimmers, but would be within a fraction of breaking some female world records. 

“Swimming against Lia…I was certain it would be difficult for me to swim at the same speed as her,” said the discouraged swimmer.

‘At the end of the day I respect her decision to complete and I do feel that people are going to have a bad reaction to her life choices which isn’t fair on her. However, I can see why many athletes will be upset from an athletic viewpoint.

What Lia Thomas’ times compare to her record as a male UPenn swimmer and NCAA women’s record holder?


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Olympic gold medalists hold the NCAA records in these events for women. Missy Franklin is currently holding the record for 200 free at 1:39.10. Katie Ledecky broke the record for 500 free at 4:00:06, and 1,650 free at 15:03.31.  

Thomas said her pre-transition times are not an accurate gage for her ‘current ability’ but admitted that she did not train as often or as hard in her year off as she did when competing on the men’s team. 

Outkick reported that Thomas participated in three years on the men’s team at UPenn. Will’s best times included his 200 free at 1:39.31, 500 free at 4:08:72 and 1,650 free at 14:54.76.

Olympic gold medalists hold the NCAA records in these events for women. Missy Franklin is currently holding the record for 200 free at 1:39.10. Katie Ledecky established the records at 4:14:06 for the 500-Free and at 15:03,31 for the 1,650-free.

Thomas competed on the women’s team in this season’s 200 free at 1:41.93 and 500 at 4:34.06 respectively, while Thomas also swam for the 1,650-free at 15:59.71.

Thomas was less than 1 minute faster than Katie Ledecky’s world-record time (15:59.71), which she set in 2017.

Thomas won the Zippy Invitational record, as well as the swimming pool in which the event was held. At last year’s NCAA championships, only five swimmers managed to break 16 minutes. 

Thomas is automatically eligible to participate in the National Championship Meet in Atlanta, March 2022, if he achieves the NCAA qualifying standard.

Two of Thomas’ female UPenn colleagues anonymously shared their dissatisfaction with having a transgender colleague during the week following the Zippy Invitational. 

The anonymous first female swimmer from UPenn stated that Mike Schnur allowed a transgender person to fill the spot of a woman because he just really enjoys winning. 

OutKick could only talk to her under the condition that she remain anonymous because she is afraid of making negative comments about transgender athletes, which will impact her chances at getting hired after graduation. 

Outkick was told by an anonymous Ivy League student that “practically everyone has spoken to their coaches about not liking it,” in their interview published on Thursday. “Our coach loves winning. His coach is like many coaches. It’s something that I believe everyone knows in secret.

DailyMail.com did not reach Schnur for comment. On his UPenn bio page, he lists his pronouns to be ‘he’, ‘him’, and ‘his’. His bio states that he is married with one child. He has been a coach for the swim team 17 years.

Thomas praises Schnur for her support during her transition to the women’s team, calling her one of her “biggest supporters” and “allies in this journey since day one.” 

Thomas also praised her team for being a constant support system during her transition, as well as the criticisms she received from national authorities.

Thomas has said that she believes it is fair for her to compete against females and does not believe she has an advantage over them

Thomas stated that Thomas believes it fair to be able to compete with females, but does not think she is superior. 

Thomas previously competed on the UPenn men's swim team for three years as Will before transitioning. Will's times are seconds away from shattering women's world records

Thomas was previously a member of the UPenn men’s swimming team and competed for three years before switching to women’s competition. Will is only seconds from breaking the women’s world record for swimming times 

“The entire team, including teammates, coaches, and players, has been incredible supportive from the very beginning. Mike was a great supporter and friend throughout this whole process. I am grateful for his and the support of everyone on the team. I feel very supported. She said she was treated as any other woman on the team.

OutKick received no support from the first unknown female swimmer.

‘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 said.

“The Ivy League does not have a speed league for swimming. It’s absurd that there could be an NCAA champion.” It’s not common for an Ivy League swimmer to do that,’ explained the swimmer.

On paper, Lia Thomas can get back to Will Thomas’ best times and those are the female world record numbers. More speed than ever [Olympic swimmer]Katie Ledecky attended college. He is faster than every other Olympian that you could imagine. These are his times for three events. [female]The world’s records.

Thomas started transitioning in May 2019, and was released to her team early in the fall 2019. Thomas completed a year-long course of hormone treatment as mandated by NCAA. She submitted documentation detailing her year and was then approved for a switch to the women’s team. 

For nearly two-and-a half years, she’s been receiving daily hormone therapy. 

“One year is not enough.” How about all the years you had to go through puberty, male growth and the many years between? Outkick heard the story of the first unknown female athlete.

‘There are a bunch of comments on the Internet about how, “Oh, these girls are just letting this happen. They should just boycott or protest.“ At the end of the day, it’s an individual sport. She pointed out that protesting it is only going to hurt ourselves, as we will lose all the things we have worked for.

‘When I have kids I really hope they’re all boys. Because if there are any girls in my family that would like to be a part of college sports teams, well, it’s a good thing. [Their opponents]Thomas, Thomas’ teammate, said that all biological men will claim they are women.

“Right now, we only have one. But what if there were three? It would have three fewer girls on the team.

Anonymously, a second swimmer anonymously complained about Thomas’ place on the women’s swim team at UPenn despite being advised by the whole team not to talk to media.

Nonetheless, the second swimmer from the team spoke out to say that UPenn’s swimming club is ‘angry about what was perceived as a lack of fairness as Thomas sets record after record in the pool.

UPenn swim team recently posted about one of Lia's records in the 500m freestyle (pictured)

Recently, the UPenn Swim Team posted about Lia’s 500m Freestyle record (pictured).

UPenn swim coach Mike Schnur

Trans athlete Lia Thomas

A female swimmer from UPenn anonymously stated she has had a discussion with Mike Schnur about Thomas (right), their dissatisfaction with Thomas (left), but that he genuinely enjoys winning. 

Thomas was the second anonymous swimmer who spoke out about Thomas’ performance. She said that UPenn swimmers were distraught and weeping because they knew their time would be destroyed by Thomas.

“They are so discouraged that no matter how hard they work, it will all end in their defeat,” the source said to Outkick. They can usually get behind the blocks, knowing they have out-trained their competition and that they will win. Outkick was told by a source.  

They are now being forced to work behind the scenes, knowing they won’t win no matter how hard they try. It’s getting to everyone, I believe.

“Usually, everybody claps and everyone cheers when someone wins. Lia touched the wall. It was silent inside. “The crowd burst into applause when Anna Kalandadze (a Penn swimmer) finished second.

Thomas broke the record by beating her teammate Anna Sofia Kalandaze to first place in the swim meet, which took 38 seconds. 

Fellow UPenn swimmer Anna Sofia Kalandaze finished in second place 38 seconds behind Thomas in the 1,650-yard freestyle race at the Zippy Invitational

Anna Sofia Kalandaze, a fellow UPenn swimmer finished second in the freestyle 1,650-yard race at the Zippy Inviteal by 38 seconds. 

Outkick was also told by a second anonymous source that Thomas might have been bragging after the race.

Thomas, allegedly, said, “That was so easy. I was cruising.” Before bragging to her fellow teammates, “At least, I’m still Number.” She claimed she wasn’t happy with the 500.

She’s clearly No. According to OutKick, she is the No. 1 athlete in the country due to her obvious physical advantages after going through puberty with male testosterone and training for many years.

“Of course, you’re number one. You’re the best when beating all of them. She said that it was not something she should brag about. 

This is really upsetting because it’s our desire to be recognized and praised for all of the hard work we have done. But, it just seems that this keeps us from being acknowledged. Put Lia out of the picture — we have a really good team this year. The best team we have in years is ours, but that’s getting overshadowed. [Lia]Thomas said it to Thomas, his teammate.

How do you interpret the rules? 

According to the NCAA Policy on Transgender Student-Athlete Participation, a trans female must have undergone at least one year of testosterone suppression treatment before being eligible to compete on a women’s team.

According to the rules, a trans male (MTF), student-athlete who has been treated for testosterone suppression for Gender Identity Disorder/Gender Dysphoria and/or Transsexualism may compete in NCAA competition but cannot compete on a female team. However, a woman’s team may be changed to mixed status without changing its gender until they have completed one year of testosterone suppression.

These guidelines state that ‘a trans female (MTF), transgender student-athlete, who isn’t taking hormone treatments related homeostatic gender transition can’t compete on a woman’s team.

A sports team that has included a transgender woman has been designated a mixed team. This classification is in effect for the rest of the academic calendar ‘without exception.

“Even without Lia we were able to win the Ivy League this season, which was a big deal for us. It is a sport we love and train hard every day. Swimming is my favorite sport. It’s something I enjoy doing because it is what I am good at. I’ve loved it for my entire life, so this is an insult to the NCAA’s inability to protect women’s sport integrity.

Penn administration publicly backed Thomas and said she was staying with the team. Coach Schnur, however, remained low-key and stayed out of the limelight.

According to the source, he is simply following NCAA rules. The situation is beyond his control. 

Because of this non-negotiable position, teammates feel that they are forced to voice their opinions and face repercussions.

They claim that they love all people, but their interest in Lia is in conflict with hers. We support Lia in her right to make life decisions. However, we cannot allow Lia to make those decisions and then impede on the rights of others. ‘Your right doesn’t supersede everyone else’s right.’

“I don’t know the answer, but this is it. Although people might talk about how transgenders have been marginalized, and this is meant to be helpful, you cannot help transgenders by marginalizing. [biological] women.’

“I’m certain biological women won’t be on the same playing field as transgender girls, regardless of what.

However, Thomas believes that the regulations that allow her to compete on the women’s team are fair and keep ‘competitional integrity going.’ 

While the nation debates the role of transgender athletes, there is much controversy about Thomas’ historic win and inclusion on the women’s squad. 

A number of states have passed bills that outlaw transgender competitors from participating on teams that are aligned to their gender. However, athletes must compete against their biological sex and the listed sex on their birth certificate.