Track Star Loses State Championship Spot to Trans Competitor, Makes Her Displeasure Known at Podium Ceremony


One small gesture by a high school athlete has launched waves of controversy over the participation of transgender athletes in women’s sports.

On Saturday, Adeline Johnson of Branson High School finished fourth in the women’s 1,600-meter race at the North Coast Meet of Champions of California finals, according to the New York Post.

Second place went to Athena Ryan of Sonoma Academy, who, despite the name, is a man competing in women’s sports under California rules that allow athletes to compete according to their preferred gender identity and not biology.

Because only the top three finishers advance to the California Interscholastic Federation State Track & Field Championships, Ryan is in, but Johnson’s running career is over.

Video emerged of Johnson at the post-race podium ceremony first waving to someone, then making a thumbs-down gesture.

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Johnson has not spoken about the gesture, but others did.

The Independent Council on Women’s Sports tweeted the video Saturday, noting how a female had lost an opportunity to a male.

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“As a former CA state champion high jumper, I think this is complete and utter nonsense. I’m embarrassed for our state and feel sorry for the girls who were cheated in the process. Fair rules need to implemented NOW to protect the integrity of Track & Field and other sports,” Darren Marble tweeted, as others agreed with his sentiments.

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The gesture came on a day when protesters holding signs that said, “protect female sports” were eventually forced to leave the event.

“They’re kicking us out because we care about women and girls,” a protester said in a video posted to Twitter.

A security guard responded, “That’s not what we’re doing. I’m an activist myself. You can’t say that.”

Ryan’s time in the race was 4:55.91; Johnson’s was 4:58.63, according to MileSplit.

In a post-race interview, Ryan said his time was his best.

“I wasn’t expecting that. I dropped like 17 seconds on my season’s best in the past two weeks,” Ryan said in an interview after the race, according to the Daily Mail.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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