Three high school girls track athletes file suit after males win their events

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WFSB) — Three high school track athletes and their mothers have filed a lawsuit in federal court to challenge Connecticut’s policy of allowing boys to compete in girls’ sports.

The suit, filed Wednesday in Hartford, said the state’s policy robs female athletes of opportunities because of the physical advantages of males.

Selina Soule, Alanna Smith, and Chelsea Mitchell claim they were deprived of honors due to boys competing in girl Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference events.

“CIAC’s policy and its results directly violate the requirements of Title IX, a federal regulation designed to protect equal athletic opportunities for women and girls,” the suit said.

Mitchell said she would have won the 2019 state championship in the women’s 55-meter indoor track competition if not for two males who took first and second place. She said she was denied the gold medal.

Soule and Smith have similar stories. They claim they have been denied medals and/or advancement opportunities.

“Girls deserve to compete on a level playing field. Forcing them to compete against boys isn’t fair, shatters their dreams, and destroys their athletic opportunities,” said Christiana Holcomb, ADF legal counsel. “Having separate boys’ and girls’ sports has always been based on biological differences, not what people believe about their gender, because those differences matter for fair competition. And forcing girls to be spectators in their own sports is completely at odds with Title IX, a federal law designed to create equal opportunities for women in education and athletics. Connecticut’s policy violates that law and reverses nearly 50 years of advances for women.”

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