Washington State Girl's Track Coach: 'Obviously a Male Running'

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Remember the old bit about snips and snails, and puppy dog tails being what little boys are made of? That little nursery rhyme originated in the 1700s, the other side of it being that sugar and spice and everything nice are what little girls are made of. 

While this is a nursery rhyme and a mildly silly one, as such things frequently are, it nevertheless brings an important point home to little children: Boys and girls are different. Men and women are different, each sex with their strengths and weaknesses, and to that, I can only add hurrah! Vive la difference!

But all too often, in girls' and women's sports, this difference, where only a few short years ago the standard was "and never the twain shall meet," well, the twain is meeting. Recently, in Washington state, a girls' track coach whose student lost to a boy LARPing as a girl in a track meet had a few things to say about it.

Girls’ track and field coach Dean Vergillo spoke out against his Washington high school team’s state loss against a transgender runner.

The Cedarcrest High School coach spoke to the Independent Women’s Forum about his team competing in the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) state track and field meet earlier in May.

One of his athletes had competed against 17-year-old transgender athlete Veronica Garcia in the 400-meter sprint. Though it wasn’t apparent that Garcia was a biological male, Vergillo remarked that it was easy to tell once the race started.

"As a cross country and track coach, everybody has a running style," he said. "It’s kind of like your fingerprint — everybody runs a little bit differently. In this case, it was obviously a male running."

This is where the discussion should end. "In this case, it was obviously a male running."

It was obviously a male running. End of story. This runner should have been disqualified.

See Related: Supreme Court to Examine Tennessee's Total Ban on Transgender Surgery for Minors 

Trans-Identified Male Complains About Being Booed After Winning Girls Track Meet

But the story doesn't end there, sadly.

Garcia went on to win the race, earning 10 points for East Valley High School. Vergillo noted that his high school’s team only lost the state meet to East Valley by eight points, meaning Garcia’s win was the deciding factor.

"This would’ve been much easier if we had lost by 30 points instead of by just eight," Vergillo said. "We can’t control what happened, so let’s make the most of it for us. Let’s enjoy this experience that we had."

He celebrated his runner’s efforts regardless, commenting that she "actually ran a school record." Vergillo was more bothered by the fact that he and his team "had no idea that this was coming." 

So Dean Vergillo's team, which he had been coaching and training for some time, lost a meet because a boy was competing on a girls' team - a boy who earlier whined about being booed - for cheating. There's just no other way to word this; the boy, "Veronica" Garcia, is LARPing as a girl, and cheating. There is a reason that there are teams for boys and teams for girls, especially in a sport like track and field, because boys are stronger, faster, and more endurance than girls.

These are facts.

Coach Vergillo makes a fair point with his statement that the fact that the boy competing on the opposing team resulted in his team's loss. However: while a loss by a wider margin may have been a little easier to take, it would not have lessened the unethical and biologically unrealistic problem that the boy should never have been running on a girls' team to begin with. What's worse, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, which governs school sports in the Evergreen State, not only allows this kind of cheating but does not even require any pretense of attenuation of the greater speed, strength or endurance of boys:

According to Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) policy, every athlete will compete in programs "consistent with their gender identity or the gender most consistently expressed." However, the association does not require athletes to take part in hormone therapy or use hormone blockers.

Two things must happen here: Parents must speak up, go to school board meetings, run in school board elections, and put a stop to this nonsense. The other - girls and coaches of girl's teams should be prepared to walk off the field in protest when facing a team with a mediocre boy athlete who decides to LARP as a girl to win a prominence he could not achieve otherwise. In this case, after all, it's running. What if next, it's wrestling, football, or some other sport where a girl, faced with a larger, stronger, faster male opponent, could be seriously hurt? There have already been such incidents, and as long as this is allowed to continue, there will be more.

This cannot go on. Enough is enough.


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