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Out gay high school swimmer wins Colorado state title, breaks state record

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Jack Thorne won his third straight Colorado state title in the 100-yard backstroke, and he did it as a publicly out gay athlete.

Jack Thorne is a three-time state champion in the 100-yard backstroke.
Jack Thorne is a three-time state champion in the 100-yard backstroke.
Patti Watkins

Jack Thorne, a swimmer at Thompson Valley High School in Loveland, Colo., won his third consecutive state championship in the 100-yard backstroke over the weekend. He swam the final race in a All-American and 4A state record time of 48.30 seconds. He already owned the state record before.

Thorne came out publicly as gay last year by posting a message on Twitter and Facebook. Since then he has embraced his role as an inspiration for other LGBT athletes, has found a voice for himself in the LGBT sports movement, and has worked hard in the pool.

He will attend Northwestern University this fall and will compete for the Wildcats swim team.

"I'm really happy, it's a great way to end my high school swimming career," Thorne said. "I remember how I felt last year at this meet and this year was so much more relaxed and I was just able to have fun and see what I can do."

As Thorne tweeted last June when he repeated as state champion:

Congratulations on your threepeat, Jack! And good luck at Northwestern University.

You can watch Thorne's state-title race here: