Lia Thomas wins three Ivy League titles, Iszac Henig takes the 50-free
Feb 21, 12:15am ET: Lia Thomas had a record-setting Ivy league Championships meet, taking three individual conference titles in 100-, 200- and 500-free. Thomas set meet records in each event. She also won a relay title with her Penn teammates in the 400-free relay.
The 100-free in particular was of interest, as she beat Yale’s Iszac Henig, the trans man who had beaten her in a dual meet earlier in the season.
Thomas was the highest-scoring swimmer at the meet.
Henig, for his part, won the 50-free conference championship, setting a pool record in the process. He was also part of Yale’s 400-medley relay that took the Ivy League championship.
Now attention turns to the NCAA Championships. Thomas has already qualified in multiple events, and Henig is expected to earn a spot as well.
Iszac Henig flies to Ivy League championship meet record in 100 Free prelims
Feb19, 12:35pm ET: Iszac Henig uncorked a flying Saturday morning effort in the final heat of the 100 freestyle preliminaries. His 47.80 effort was the fastest qualifying time and his time broke a 2-year-old championship meet record.
It also sets the table for a wide-open 100 freestyle championship final Saturday night. Penn’s Lia Thomas sits second fastest and will be right next to Henig in lane 5. Behind them are Harvard first-year phenom Molly Hamlin and defending league champion in the 100 free Nikki Venema of Princeton.
Lia Thomas sets Ivy League Championships meet record
Feb 18, 7:45pm ET: Lia Thomas won her second Ivy League championship in as many days, taking the 200-free in a meet record time of 1:43.12. She’s now the first out trans woman to win multiple conference championships in NCAA Division I history.
Lia Thomas and Iszac Henig both win Ivy League Championships
Feb 17, 7:30pm ET: Lia Thomas and Iszac Henig each won an Ivy League Championship on Thursday, becoming only the second and third out trans athletes to win individual conference titles in NCAA Division I.
Thomas was first into the pool, winning the 500-free, the event for which she owns a conference record and the nation’s fastest time this season.
Henig took his title in the 50-free, with a time of 21.93. It was a B-qualifying time for the NCAA Championships, which means he’ll have to wait and see if he gets an invitation to the National Championships.
Both athletes set new pool records in their respective events.
Day 2 Afternoon Session: Thomas and Henig earn top seeds
Feb 17, 3pm ET: Penn’s Lia Thomas glided in her 500-yard freestyle preliminary heat to post the fastest time and also leading a Quakers 1-2-3 headed into Thursday night’s championship final.
Thomas put up a time of 4 minutes, 41.19 seconds, a full 5 seconds clear of teammate Anna Kalandadze. Headed into these championships, Thomas had the fastest time in the event in the NCAA this season at 4:34.06.
Yale’s Iszac Henig built on his strong opening night in the 50 freestyle prelims Thursday afternoon. He splashed to the top seed in the 50 freestyle sprint for tonight’s championship final in 22.17 seconds, just .48 seconds ahead of defending Ivy champion in the event Nikki Venema from Princeton.
Should both Henig and Thomas end up first in their finals Thursday evening, they would join University of Montana track and field athlete Juniper Eastwood on the list of transgender student-athletes who have won conference titles in NCAA Division I.
Opening Night: Iszac Henig and Lia Thomas win multiple medals
Feb 16, 8pmET: Iszac Henig’s Ivy League championships got off to an explosive start beginning with a massive anchor-leg effort in the 200 medley relay.
The sprint specialist hit the water in third, behind Princeton’s Christina Bradley and Harvard’s Mandy Brenner. Despite a sizzling 21.89-second 50-yard freestyle leg, he fell inches short as Yale would finish second behind Princeton.
For Henig this meet means even more because of what he delayed to be here, putting a pause on affirming hormone treatments to have one last season on a Yale women’s swim team.
“I value my contributions to the team and recognize that my boyhood doesn’t hinge on whether there’s more or less testosterone running through my veins,” he told the New York Times last June. “At least, that’s what I’ll try to remember when I put on the women’s swimsuit for competition and am reminded of a self I no longer feel attached to.”
Yale also has a team goal: The Bulldogs haven’t won the league since 2017. They hope to win the title at these championships.
Thirty minutes after a thunderous finish, Henig would open the show for Yale in the 800 freestyle relay, with Penn’s Lia Thomas next to him. Thomas holds the nation’s fastest time in the 200-yard freestyle and has faced months of scrutiny because of her record-setting performances.
Henig fought stroke-for-stroke with Thomas as Thomas got Penn a tiny lead.
Neither ended up celebrating at the top of the podium because of the second leg for Harvard, Samantha Shelton. In a championship second leg, Shelton’s strong effort gave Harvard the punch to win the event. Yale’s quartet fought to second. Penn ended up third.
Both Henig and Thomas sent an early message to the league that these two transgender student-athlete are here to make their mark.
Two trans athletes at the Ivy League Women’s Swimming Championships
Feb 16, 4pmET: Lia Thomas and Iszac Henig are two transgender swimmers who will compete at the Ivy League women’s swimming and diving championships, representing the University of Pennsylvania and Yale.
Over the last few months, each of them has at times garnered national media attention.
Thomas has been the topic of much debate, as she set three school and two conference records very early in the season, her times getting considerably slower as the season progressed.
Henig was the rare athlete to beat Thomas in the pool this season, besting his fellow trans competitor in the 100-free in a dual meet in January.
Here we’ll be tracking how both Henig and Thomas perform at the Ivy League Championships, as people around the world await the results.