Championships, the Seattle Academy runner finished 72nd in the 5,000-meter race. This year, competing as a self-identified female (Aspen Hoffman) in the same event but in the girls' division, he finished in first place and set a school record for girls – even though his time improved by only about 1-1/2 minutes.
According to Fox News, Hoffman competed two weeks later (November 5) in the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) State Finals, finishing in 18th place against females with a time that would have put him in 145th place against other males.
The WIAA last year eliminated all requirements for medical evaluation, stating athletes can participate in activities in "a manner that is consistent with their gender identity." AFN spoke with Steve McConkey of 4 WINDS Christian Athletics, who predicts this could lead to further discrepancies.
"If you had three or four athletes who did this, this would put [a cross-country] team in contention for a state title," he warns. "So no longer would they have to take performance-enhancing drugs; they can just go right in there and develop a team."
McConkey believes decision-makers could easily delude many into thinking this is acceptable. And that, he says, is why conscientious parents will have to speak up.
"Parents [and others] at the grassroots level have to start going to the school board and talking to the school board about the problems they see and hold school board members accountable for behavior that should not be accepted," he urges.
According to McConkey, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association has developed a Gender-Diversity Toolkit that is being utilized by sports organizations around the country.