MA high school girls' track team wins with help of trans-identified biological male

For those who had concerns over a biological male competing against female athletes, Barnes said, "Deal with it. Just deal with it."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

A Massachusetts high school recently came under fire for a girls’ track and field team win at last month’s state indoor championships, aided by a biological male athlete.

Chloe Barnes helped Brookline High School win Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletics Association Division 1 Indoor Track and Field Championships after competing in the girls 55m hurdles, with the school winning the title over three other schools, according to the Daily Mail

Despite placing in fourth behind a fellow Brookline teammate, Barnes’ finish awarded her team points that led to their championship win. Team members are awarded points based on their finish in the finals, with the team gathering the most points being awarded the overall win. 

In high school meets, boys’ hurdles are six inches taller than those used by girls. Photos of Barnes saw the biological male athlete standing a head taller than female competitors. According to the Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS), Barnes pushed senior runner Shayla Quill out of the finals. 

Barnes, a junior, started competing in girls’ competitions this academic year, spending the previous year training with the girls and competing against the boys. 

According to The Cypress, Brookline’s school newspaper, school policy states that "Students who are transgender may participate in accordance with the gender identity they consistently assert at school. Interscholastic athletic activities are addressed through the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Gender Identity Policy (MIAA) clarification."

MIAA states that they will rely on the gender identity determined by the school district for interscholastic activities. 

Speaking with The Cypress in 2022, Barnes said, “I’m in an arrangement with my coaches where I practice with the girl's team but compete on the boy's team. It was more a result of me just being afraid of other people watching [me] race."

For those who had concerns over a biological male competing against female athletes, Barnes said, "Deal with it. Just deal with it."

"This is cheating!" wrote British Olympic gold medalist Sharron Davies.

"Massachusetts girls high school track and field state championship a few weeks ago. Can you guess which is the male?" wrote former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines, who began speaking out against the inclusion of biological male athletes in women’s sports after tying with former UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas, who is transgender. 

"This is unfair to our daughters, and parents must start speaking up!" wrote Rep. Mary Miller.

"Simply cheating!! This should not be allowed #SaveWomensSport," wrote British Olympian Andy Turner. 


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