Chelsea Mitchell: Girl was 'fastest' runner in Connecticut until she was forced to compete with trans athletes

Chelsea Mitchell, in an op-ed in USA Today, said repeated losses to biologically male athletes chip 'away at women’s confidence'


                            Chelsea Mitchell: Girl was 'fastest' runner in Connecticut until she was forced to compete with trans athletes
Chelsea Mitchell has written an op-ed for USA Today (Alliance Defending Freedom)

Once upon a time, former high school track athlete Chelsea Mitchell was the "fastest girl in Connecticut". But that changed when the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) allowed transgender girls to compete in women's sports.

Mitchell has now said that competing against transgender female athletes who were born male was "devastating" to her confidence and opportunities. It urged her and three other athletes to file a case against CIAC last year. Writing an op-ed in USA Today, she pledged to continue her legal battle to ban biological males from girls’ sports.

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In her op-ed that was published on Sunday, May 23, Mitchell explained why she and three other athletes sued the CIAC last year over their decision to allow trans athletes to compete based on gender identity instead of biology.

Canton High School's track coach Tim O’Donnell described Mitchell as "a hard worker". Representational image (Tony Anderson/ Getty Images)

Who is Chelsea Mitchell?

Mitchell reportedly played soccer since kindergarten. And started running track only in eighth grade after her mother suggested she should. Soon afterwards, she reportedly won the State Open and New England 100-meter titles and was the State Open runner-up in the long jump. She has a 3.7 GPA and as of 2019 had reportedly started looking at colleges. 

Canton High School's track coach Tim O’Donnell described Mitchell as "a hard worker". "There’s a certain amount of talent she has and it’s not wasted and not taken for granted by her. he’s pretty grounded. On the hard days, she’s going hard. She’s never just goes through the motions. She has a good balance of working really hard but not being consumed by it."

The soccer coach at Canton, Alex Uscilla, described Mitchell as the "fastest player I've ever seen". "She will start 20 yards behind somebody and finish 30 yards ahead of them. Her foot skills have progressed. It’s not just her speed, it’s more than that.”

Competition against males 

For the most part of her school career, Mitchell competed against biologically female athletes and said that the continuous losses to trans athletes was demoralizing to her and other girls in the sport.

"I've lost four women’s state championship titles, two all-New England awards, and numerous other spots on the podium to male runners. I was bumped to third place in the 55-meter dash in 2019, behind two male runners. With every loss, it gets harder and harder to try again," she wrote in the op-ed.

Representational image (Photo by Robert Gray/Getty Images)

'Devastating experience' 

"That’s a devastating experience. It tells me that I’m not good enough; that my body isn’t good enough; and that no matter how hard I work, I am unlikely to succeed, because I’m a woman," she added.

Mitchell and fellow female high school athletes Alanna Smith, Selina Soule, Ashley Nicoletti reportedly sued CIAC in February 2020 for allowing two biological males, transgender students Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller, to compete in girls track and field competitions.

Mitchell and fellow female high school athletes Alanna Smith, Selina Soule, Ashley Nicoletti reportedly sued CIAC in February 2020. Representational image (Tony Anderson/ Getty Images)

In late April, US District Court Judge Robert Chatigny dismissed the girl's lawsuit ruling that the question was moot since Yearwood and Miller had graduated and were no longer competing in high school sports. The repeated losses to biologically male athletes chip "away at women’s confidence and our belief in our own abilities," Mitchell wrote. She went on to add that trans athletes may have cost female athletes opportunities to play their sport at the next level.

"[CIAC’s policy on transgender athletes] robs girls of the chance to race in front of college scouts who show up for elite meets, and to compete for the scholarships and opportunities that come with college recruitment," Mitchell said. "I’ll never know how my own college recruitment was impacted by losing those four state championship titles to a male. When colleges looked at my record, they didn’t see the fastest girl in Connecticut. They saw a second- or third-place runner."

In conclusion, Mitchell promised to appeal the court's decision and continue her fight to protect the integrity of high school girls’ sports. "We’re taking our case to the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, where we are going to ask once again for the court to recognize our right to fair competition - a right that Title IX has promised to girls and women for 50 years," Mitchell said.

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