Transgender Runner’s Top Performance in Oregon Girls’ Track Event Sparks Outrage

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David F. Ashton /

In Sherwood, Oregon, a high school track and field event became the center of a heated debate after a transgender athlete, Aayden Gallagher, recorded a remarkably fast time in the women's varsity 200 meters. During the Sherwood Need For Speed Classic held on Saturday, Gallagher completed the race in 25.49 seconds, significantly ahead of her nearest competitor who finished in about 30 seconds.

This performance placed Gallagher second in the event, trailing only behind Aster Jones, a top sprinter holding records in Oregon for the women’s 100 meters and the second fastest time in the 200 meters. Gallagher's impressive finish ranks her as the fifth fastest in the state for the 200 meter dash.

Under the current guidelines of the Oregon School Activities Organization, transgender athletes are permitted to participate in sports consistent with their gender identity. This policy is part of an effort to integrate inclusivity with the traditional gender divisions in interscholastic athletics, in line with Title IX requirements.

The reaction to Gallagher’s performance drew critical comments from several figures, including Senator Ted Cruz of Texas who labeled the incident "disgraceful" and questioned the fairness of the competition. Riley Gaines, an activist for women’s sports, criticized the celebration of the result as a form of cheating endorsed by adults involved, including parents and school officials.

Further controversy stemmed from comments by Utah gubernatorial candidate Phil Lyman, who expressed concern for the female athletes in the race, suggesting they lacked adequate support against perceived injustices in the competition.

Gallagher, a student at Leodis V. McDaniel High School, discussed in a school publication how undergoing estrogen hormone therapy has boosted their confidence, reflecting on the broader topic of youth gender transitions. The school has yet to issue a response regarding the matter as requested by The National Desk.