Maine Transgender High School Skiier Named To Girls’ All-Conference Team

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A male transgender skier earned all-league honors in Maine this school year.

Maine Coast Waldorf School sophomore Soren Stark-Chessa was named to the Western Maine Conference girls’ Nordic skiing all-conference team for the winter 2023-2024 season, as The Lewiston Sun-Journal first reported.

Stark-Chessa, a male who identifies as a transgender girl, was one of 10 athletes to receive the honor. Nine Western Maine Conference schools compete in girls’ Nordic skiing, according to the conference’s web site.

Stark-Chessa had three third-place finishes in the Maine Principals Association Class C girls’ Nordic skiing state championship meet on Monday, February 19 and Tuesday, February 20, as NewBostonPost previously reported. 

Stark-Chessa finished third in the 5-kilometer girls’ classical (19:17.1) and freestyle (15:41.3). Combined, these finishes gave Stark-Chessa a pursuit time of 34:58.3 — good for yet another third-place finish. 

In classical Nordic skiing, skiers move in parallel tracks with narrow skis and use a striding motion, while in freestyle skiing, they use wider skis and a skating-like motion on ungroomed surfaces. In this instance, “pursuit” refers to a race that features both a classical and a freestyle race. 

The Class C state championship meet was held at Titcomb Mountain in Farmington, Maine; Farmington is a west central Maine town with about 8,200 residents.

Waldorf School athletic director Susan Sonntag defended Stark-Chessa’s participation on girls’ teams when contacted by NewBostonPost earlier this school year.

“We support all our students at Maine Coast Waldorf School, and are proud that our students are given the opportunity to participate in all of our school programs,” Sonntag told NewBostonPost by email on October 25, 2023. “Additionally, MCWS adheres to the Maine Statute, Title 5, §4602 ‘Unlawful educational discrimination’ which is further supported by Maine Principals’ Association (MPA) policy.”

NewBostonPost made that inquiry about Stark-Chessa competing in girls’ cross country last fall. 

Stark-Chessa also excelled in cross country, as NewBostonPost previously reported. The runner finished third at the Class C state championship meet on November 4, 2023; Stark-Chessa ran the 5-kilometer course in 18:23.6, according to

The Maine Principals’ Association lets student-athletes participate on teams based on their self-selected gender identity, according to the Gender Equity and Inclusion Policy in its 2022-23 handbook.

“The MPA is committed to maximizing the opportunities for all students to participate in interscholastic activities and athletics, regardless of their gender identity or expression,” the policy says.

“At the same time, the MPA is committed to ensuring fair competition and adequate protection of student athletes,” the police continues. “Consistent with its principles, the MPA believes that all students should have the opportunity to participate in MPA activities in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity, unless such participation would result in an unfair athletic advantage or would present an unacceptable risk of injury to other student athletes.”

Maine conservative activist Shawn McBreairty was the person first to report on Stark-Chessa’s transgender status last fall.

Maine Coast Waldorf is a small private school in Freeport, Maine; it serves 268 students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Freeport, Maine is a town of about 8,800 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. It is about 17 miles northeast of Portland.

Sonntag could not be reached for comment on Tuesday or Wednesday.


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