Riley Gaines posted the results of the New England Cross Country Championships on social media yesterday to highlight the fact that a biological male runner, Soren Stark-Chessa, finished in 6th place among the girls at the finals.
He would have finished in 215th place out of 257 runners had he competed in the boys division.
As it turns out, last year Stark-Chessa did compete on the boy’s cross country team… but since he identifies as a “girl” this year, he was allowed to compete against girls.
Many people were angered by his presence in the race, calling the male runner a “cheater" and complaining about the injustice of the fact that women’s achievements in sports are being “erased” by biological men.
Others wondered if the boy had been using the girl’s locker room, or if any of the girls’ parents had been notified about a boy competing against their daughters.
Just so you know, Connecticut sent 58 runners to compete at the New England Championships, including five girls from Greenwich High School. In fact, the GHS Girls Cross Country team had just come off Championship wins for the CT Girls Cross Country State LL Division as well as the CT Girls Cross Country State Open. They had not achieved this since the late 1980s and 1970s, respectively, so this was a huge accomplishment for the team.
Parents are understandably frustrated, and wondered why they were not given advance notice that their daughters would be competing against a boy. They wonder why more isn’t being done to protect girl’s sports. And they really want to know what’s going on with the locker room.