Male athlete takes first place in girls' high jump championship meet

Randy Fath/Unsplash
Randy Fath/Unsplash

A male high school athlete who identifies as a female took first place in a girls' high jump competition on Sunday, defeating all female athletes in the girls' Division II high jump at the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association indoor track and field championship.

Maelle Jacques completed a 5-foot-2-inch jump to secure the top spot at the meet held at Plymouth State University, according to meet results. By comparison, 5-foot-8-inches was the lowest completed jump in the boys' Division II championship meet. The winning jumper on the male side performed a 6-foot jump. 

Jacques is a trans-identified Kearsarge Regional High School sophomore who competes as a girl. According to New Hampshire's Track and Field Results Reporting System, the athlete is tied as the top-ranked high jumper in the division. 

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Women's sports advocate Riley Gaines reacted to the news of Jacques winning the state title in a Wednesday post on X, which included a photo of the male athlete adorned with medals.

"Another less than mediocre man atop a women's podium," Gaines wrote. "He must be so proud."

In a follow-up post, Gaines shared a video of Jacques performing the high jump that won him the state title. 

The NHIAA, which oversees high school sports in the Granite State, did not immediately respond to The Christian Post's request for comment. 

NHIAA policies state that the association is "committed to providing transgender student-athletes with equal opportunities to participate in NHIAA athletic programs consistent with their gender identity." 

"Therefore, for purposes of sports participation, the NHIAA shall defer to the determination of the student and his or her local school regarding gender identification," the NHIAA policy document reads. "In this regard, the school district shall determine a student's eligibility to participate in a NHIAA gender specific sports team based on the gender identification of that student in current school records and daily life activities in the school and community at the time that sports eligibility is determined for a particular season." 

A school district is required to verify that a student is not merely pretending to identify as trans for the purpose of gaining an "unfair advantage" in competitive athletics. 

The athlete competed in four regular-season indoor track meets and won first place in the high jump each time, according to the results.

During a congressional hearing last year regarding the Biden administration's proposed Title IX rule changes, Gaines stressed that inclusion cannot take priority over "safety and fairness" for women and girls.

Under the proposed rule changes, policies that prevent males who identify as females from competing on female sports teams would be considered a violation of the law.

The women's sports advocate also highlighted studies that have found trans-identifying male athletes typically maintain a biological advantage, on average, over women even after taking feminizing hormones. She also cited examples of female athletes suffering serious injuries after competing with men. 

"There's a place for everyone to play sports in this country," the former University of Kentucky swimmer said. "But unsafe, unfair and discriminatory practices towards women must stop. Inclusion cannot be prioritized over safety and fairness."

Gaines competed against and tied trans-identifying athlete Lia (Will) Thomas during the National College Athletics Association championships in 2022. Thomas competed on the men's team at the University of Pennsylvania for three years before he began competing on the women's team. 

Despite tying with the male athlete in the 200-yard freestyle race for fifth place, she said she was denied the trophy during post-meet photos. According to Gaines, an NCAA official told her that it was necessary for Thomas to hold the trophy for photo purposes. 

"It was clear to me, my teammates, and my competitors that they had reduced everything we had worked for our entire life to a photo-op to validate the feelings and the identity of a male," Gaines said.

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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