New Hampshire Transgender Track Athlete Wins State Championship Meet 

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2024/02/12/new-hampshire-transgender-track-athlete-wins-state-championship-meet/

Maelle Jacques is a state champion.

Kearsarge Regional High School sophomore Maelle Jacques, a male who identifies as transgender and competes in girls’ track, won the girls’ high jump at the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 2 state championship this past weekend.

With a jump of 5 feet 1 3/4 inch, Jacques beat out the other contenders at the meet held at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire, on Sunday, February 11, according to the state’s Track & Field Results Reporting System.

Jacques competed in four regular season meets this season, and has earned a first-place finish every time, according to the Track & Field Results Reporting System

Several days before the meet, former University of Kentucky women’s swimmer turned anti-transgender sports activist Riley Gaines reacted to a NewBostonPost story on social media that said Jacques was likely to win the state championship. 

Gaines criticized those who were going to allow it to happen in a post that garnered more than 27,000 likes.

“How could the parents of this boy allow their son to cheat deserving women out of opportunities?” Gaines posted on the platform widely known as Twitter. “And why don’t the parents of the girls stand up and say ‘no’ for their daughters? This country is full of failing, gutless mothers and fathers.”

In the spring 2023 outdoor track season, Jacques finished second in the 1600-meter run (5:32.39) and fifth in the high jump (4 feet, 10 inches) at the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 3 championship meet.

Kearsarge Regional School District superintendent Winfried Feneberg defended allowing Jacques to compete on the girls’ sports teams, in a written statement emailed to NewBostonPost last spring:

 

Kearsarge supports all students and student-athletes regardless of their gender identity. Each student-athlete has the right to compete in the activity of their choice.

The New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association’s stance on this issue is clear:  Denying that opportunity is a violation of equal rights afforded under state and federal law.

Further, we believe that limiting access to any activity violates our core mission and vision, which are grounded in supporting every student and student-athlete’s right to pursue their goals and interests. As a school community – parents and guardians, faculty, staff, and peers – we celebrate student success and personal growth on and off the field. We firmly believe in guiding each student to become caring, compassionate people who contribute positively to the world and those around them.

We are thankful that our student-athletes have been welcomed throughout the season by competing teams and their coaches, in the true spirit of athletic competition. And we remain grateful to the Kearsarge community for its steadfast commitment to equity and inclusion.

As a school community – parents and guardians, faculty, staff, and peers – we celebrate student success and personal growth on and off the field.

 

The Independent Council on Women’s Sports reported the runner’s transgender status in a tweet on May 25, 2023.

Many right-of-center news outlets reported on Jacques’s recent transgender identity at the time, including TB Daily News, BreitbartDaily Wire, and The Washington Times, among others.

The organization that governs interscholastic sports in New Hampshire allows athletes to compete based on their self-selected gender identity.

Here is the organization’s transgender athlete policy, according to its web site:

 

The NHIAA is committed to providing transgender student-athletes with equal opportunities to participate in NHIAA athletic programs consistent with their gender identity. Hence, this policy addresses eligibility determinations for students who have a gender identity that is different from the gender listed on their official birth certificates.

The NHIAA has concluded that it would be fundamentally unjust and contrary to applicable State and Federal Law to preclude a student from participation on a gender specific sports team that is consistent with the public gender identity of that student for all other purposes.

 

Jacques is one of several transgender track athletes to win a state championship in New England in recent years.

Brookline High track runner Chloe Barnes helped the school win a Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association team state championship last year, earning a fourth-place finish in the 55-meter hurdles. 

Plus, 2020 Bloomfield High grad Terry Miller and 2020 Cromwell High grad Andraya Yearwood each won many Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference state titles. Miller won a combined 16 state titles in various events, including individual events and team relays; Miller sometimes won multiple events in the same season, as NewBostonPost previously reported. Meanwhile, Yearwood won three state titles between individual and team events, as NewBostonPost previously reported.

Kearsarge Regional High School, the public school in Sutton, New Hampshire that Jacques attends, has about 520 students. It serves the towns of Bradford, Newbury, New London, Springfield, Sutton, Warner, and Wilmot. Sutton is a small New Hampshire town with about 2,000 residents located about 25 miles northwest of Concord, New Hampshire, the state’s capital.

A video of the winning jump is available below:

 

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