A trans-identifying biological male is expected to dominate at the New Hampshire Division II championship track meet this Sunday, where he will be competing against girls.
Maelle Jacques, a current Sophomore at Kearsarge Regional High School in Sutton, New Hampshire, became the subject of national controversy when he took away numerous first-place awards, with many parents calling his sweeping victories unfair since he was competing against girls.
Officials at the government-run school and advocates for transgender ideology, however, defended letting Jacques compete against girls.
“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,” said Winfried Feneberg, Kearsarge school district superintendent, in a statement provided to the New Boston Post.
The New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association (NHIAA) officially allows students to compete in their preferred category regardless of their sex.
Last year, as a freshman, Jacques took multiple first place awards, particularly dominating in the high-jump and the 1600-meter run, taking first place awards in both categories.
Jacques currently holds the number one spot in the whole of the girls’ Division II high-jump category, and is the only person competing in that category who jumped over five feet during regular season contests last year.
Jacques’ victories have continued into 2024, most recently on February 3, where Jacques took first in the high-jump once again.
The Division II championship meet is scheduled for Sunday, February 11, and will be held at the Plymouth State University, in Plymouth, New Hampshire.
If Jacques were to compete in the high jump against the other boys, he would rank below the student placing 16th in the division, and would not approach the first place spot, which is held by a student whose record is nearly a foot higher than Jacques’.
As the number of high school students identifying as transgender has increased sharply in recent years, the issue of whether male athletes should be allowed to compete against female athletes is surfaced in debates over high school and collegiate athletics.
It’s well established that male athletes have significant physical advantages over female athletes, including larger skeletal muscles, larger hearts and lungs, higher bone density, and elevated levels of testosterone — all of which gives males massive advantages in athletic competition
Recent attempts in Maine to pass legislation protecting female athletes from male competition have proved unsuccessful.
In January, Senate Republican Leader Trey Stewart (R-Aroostook) proposed a bill to create a legal basis for preventing biological males from competing in women’s sports after he heard complaints from the parents of a girl who was forced to compete against a biological male.
That bill eventually failed with unanimous opposition from Democrats on the state’s Legislative Council.