Transgender Athlete Sparks Protest After 2nd Place Win In Girls’ Track Race

Adeline Johnson, a high school female track athlete, has missed her chance at qualifying for the State Championships after placing fourth behind Athena Ryan, a transgender athlete.

Athletic Net reported that the high school athletes competed against each other in the women’s varsity 1600m event in the North Coast Section Meet of Champions in Dublin, California. Johnson finished the finals with a time of 4:58.63, while Ryan gained the second-place spot in the top three with a time of 4:55.91.

According to the men’s division times, Ryan would not have placed in the finals at all, with the slowest runner completing the race in 4:35.12.

A group of protestors attended the track meet flaunting a banner that read “Protect Female Sports.”

The Media Research Center reported that the protestors were “peaceful” and, therefore, compliant with the First Amendment. Reportedly, many event attendees supported the group, while others did not.

One woman is seen in a video posted to Twitter, vocalizing her opposing stance to the “Protect Female Sports” message. She called what the protestors were doing “disgusting” and said, “It’s none of your business what someone else does,” before adding, “That’s offensive.” One protestor is heard off-camera telling the woman to “watch the [men’s] race and see the difference.”


World Athletics set new rules in March banning transgender women from competing in female track-and-field events. Most stakeholders agreed that transgender women should not be competing in female sports. The rules enforce that any transgender woman who has undergone male puberty is prohibited from competing in female divisions.

The conversation about trans women competing in female divisions has been an ongoing debate in sports. In 2022, trans swimmer Lia Thomas was criticized for dominating her female competitors as a biological male. Some thought she should be celebrated as a trailblazer for being the first transgender athlete to win a Division I NCAA championship. In contrast, others considered it unfair and “the advancement of uncommon sense.”