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On Friday, two days after she and two other high school girl track competitors filed a federal lawsuit against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC), which has permitted boys to compete in events and win awards that would otherwise have gone to girls, Chelsea Mitchell defeated one of the biological males who has won numerous titles in girls’ events, winning the Class S 55-meter dash title with her time of 7.18 seconds. She beat Bloomfield High School student Terry Miller, who is a biological boy and ran the event in 7.20 seconds.
— Shawn McFarland (@McFarland_Shawn) February 14, 2020
As The Daily Mail noted, “Mitchell also came first in the 300-meter dash, while Miller was 16th, and Mitchell won the long jump.”
According to the Hartford Courant, “There was no interaction between the two before or after the race.”
Mitchell said she didn’t think that winning against Miller, the first time she had beaten Miller, would affect the lawsuit, stating, “I don’t think it could go against, there’s still tons of girls that lose on a daily basis.”
Mitchell, Selina Soule, a senior at Glastonbury High School, and Alanna Smith, a sophomore at Danbury High School, filed a federal lawsuit with their families after CIAC’s policy allowed two males to compete in girls’ athletic competitions beginning in the 2017 track season. Those biological males, Miller and Andraya Yearwood, had taken 15 women’s state championship titles (titles held in 2016 by nine different Connecticut girls) and had taken more than 85 opportunities to participate in higher level competitions from female track athletes in the 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons alone.
The Daily Mail noted some of the past history, adding, “The three plaintiffs have competed directly against them, almost always losing to Miller and usually behind Yearwood. Mitchell finished third in the 2019 state championship in the girls 55-meter indoor track competition behind Miller and Yearwood.”
Mitchell, who is currently ranked the fastest biological girl in Connecticut in the 55m, lost four girls’ state championships and two all-New England awards. She recalled, “I knew that I was the fastest girl here, one of the fastest in the state. I remembered all my training and everything I had been taught on how to maximize my performance … I thought of all the times that other girls have lost. I could feel the adrenaline in my blood and hope that wafted from me. That just possibly, I could win this. Then, the gun went off. And I lost.”
Miller stated in June 2019, “I have faced discrimination in every aspect of my life and I no longer want to remain silent. I am a girl and I am a runner. I participate in athletics just like my peers to excel, find community, and meaning in my life. It is both unfair and painful that my victories have to be attacked and my hard work ignored.”
Yearwood echoed, “I hope that the next generation of trans youth doesn’t have to fight the fights that I have. I hope they can be celebrated when they succeed not demonized. For the next generation, I run for you!”