At New Jersey’s Ramapo College, a member of the women’s swimming team, who previously competed on the men’s team, has set a new record. The athlete, Meghan Cortez-Fields, clinched the top spot in the 100-yard butterfly event at the Cougar Splash Invitational, clocking in a swift 57.22 seconds. This achievement broke the college’s previous record. In addition to this feat, Cortez-Fields secured a victory in the 200-yard individual medley and a runner-up finish in the 200-yard butterfly.
The college’s swimming team initially celebrated this accomplishment on social media but later removed the post following public commentary. Riley Gaines, a former collegiate swimmer and advocate with the Independent Women’s Forum, highlighted the results and critiqued the fairness of the competition.
Gaines commented on the situation, arguing that allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports is an affront to the integrity of women’s athletic competitions. She insists that such decisions undermine the opportunities, privacy, and safety of female athletes.
In response, Ramapo College stated its support for all student athletes, explaining that the social media post was deleted to shield the swimmer from negative reactions. The college reaffirms its commitment to celebrating the achievements of its athletes across all sports.
Cortez-Fields, now in her senior year, transitioned to the women’s team after three seasons on the men’s team. Reflecting on her journey and the experiences of other transgender athletes like Lia Thomas, Cortez-Fields shared feelings of inspiration and apprehension, hoping to avoid the intense scrutiny that has befallen others in similar situations.
Cortez-Fields’ performance this season has been notable, with at least one victory in the majority of the women’s meets she has participated in, signaling a significant impact on the college’s swimming records and sparking ongoing debates about transgender participation in collegiate sports.