California parent whose daughter lost to biological male in girls' track competition responds: 'Narcissism'

'How do you not understand that that's unfair?' the parent of a girl who participated in the California Interscholastic Federation track competition said

 A California parent of a female runner, who lost to a biological male in Saturday's California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) race, called it "unfair" in an interview with Fox News Digital. 

Athena Ryan, who is a transgender female, finished in second place in the varsity girls 1,600-meter run finals on Saturday in the sectional Meet of Champions. 

Ryan of Sonoma Academy finished behind Hanne Thomsen of Montgomery High School and ahead of Ellie Buckley of Campolindo High School. Ryan will advance to the CIF State Track & Field Championships next week.

The California high school sports governing body – California Interscholastic Federation –came under fire after a transgender athlete finished in second place in CIF's North Coast Section Meet of Champions during Saturday's 1,600-meter run finals. Ryan, who a junior, finished with a time of 4:55.91. 

Athena Ryan track competition california

The California high school sports governing body came under fire after a transgender athlete finished in second place. (Screenshot/video)


"I wasn’t expecting that. I dropped like 17 seconds on my season’s best in the past two weeks," Ryan said after the win. "After last weekend, I didn’t think I could run low 5's again. I was just coming here trying to break 5 – just glad I finished it out."

One of the parents of the runners who lost to Ryan, whose name is being withheld due to fears of retaliation and bullying, blasted the competition for allowing a biological male to compete against the girls. 

"I'm absolutely opposed to it. There's no way this should be allowed," the parent said. "Ryan was in like fifth place with 100 to go, and all of a sudden he... blew past the girls." 

"How do you not understand that that's unfair?" the parent said. 

"I 100% percent empathize with the need to belong and the desire to compete. [However,] you have to understand how hard these girls work to do this." 

placeholder"You're cheating [the sport], like the narcissism of this whole thing," the parent said about CIF's policies. 
California Interscholastic Federation race high school athena ryan

(Adobe Stock)


The parent also said that the girls will not speak out about their disappointment of Ryan's inclusion in their sport because it could be considered "bullying" and affect their ability to compete at all. 

"The student athletes' reactions are very tempered and controlled as much as they can because they're not allowed to show any reaction whatsoever to potentially not affirm what is happening," the parent said. "We've been advised that anything that potentially can come off as bullying is a code of conduct violation. And so by CIF rules [the girls are] unable to speak out about this." 

The parent added that the bullying policy is extended to families, so if a parent speaks out, it could be considered bullying.

lia thomas riley gaines ncaa swimming championship

A national debate was sparked when University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas competed in the Women's NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. (Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

When asked about how the parent responded to the game, the parent said the daughter was focusing on the sport. 

"Oh, at this point in time, because we're in the heart of her championship season… I don't want anything to distract her from this. If you let any energy zap you, if you commit any time or any emotion to this it is going to kill you," the parent said. 

Sonoma Academy did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The CIF said, "California law permits students to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil's records. (Education Code section 212.5.(f). Additionally, in accordance with California law, CIF Bylaw 300. D. provides that students should have the opportunity to participate in CIF activities in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on a student’s records."

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