A University of Virginia Women’s swimmer took home second place in the NCAA national championship Thursday, finishing behind controversial biologically male, transgender swimmer Lia Thomas of the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn).

Freshman Emma Weyant was the fastest female swimmer in the 500-meter race, but that was not enough to win the women’s national championship.

Her second-place finish drew the ire of conservatives, who have battled against biological males competing in female sports under the guise of transgenderism for some time. Thomas swam for three years on UPenn’s men’s team.

“Congrats to Virginia freshman Emma Weyant, the woman who would have won tonight’s NCAA title in the 500 meter if women’s sports were still sane,” radio show host and founder of Outkick.com Clay Travis said on Twitter.

His comments were echoed by scores of other prominent conservatives.

“This is Emma Weyant from the University of Virginia. She finished in second place to Lia Thomas in the women’s 500 Free at the NCAA national championships. But she’s the true winner to all of us,” The American Principles Project said.

“Meet Emma Weyant — the young lady that SHOULD be holding a gold medal for winning the NCAA National Championship …if only she hadn’t been forced to compete against a biological man,” Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake said.

The Virginia Star reached out to the University of Virginia to ask whether it felt slighted by Thomas taking the championship over Weyant, its student-athlete.

The school did not return a comment request.

Thomas’ controversy runs deeper than her domination in the swimming pool.

At least one of her teammates said  she felt uncomfortable sharing a locker room with Thomas.

“Multiple swimmers have raised it, multiple different times,” the swimmer, who spoke anonymously, said of Thomas. “But we were basically told that we could not ostracize Lia by not having her in the locker room and that there’s nothing we can do about it, that we basically have to roll over and accept it, or we cannot use our own locker room.”

“It’s definitely awkward because Lia still has male body parts and is still attracted to women,” she continued.

Another teammate of Thomas’ spoke to The Washington Examiner about her transgender teammate in February.

“Lia was not even close to being competitive as a man in the 50 and the 100 (freestyle events),” that swimmer said. “But just because Lia is biologically a man, [Lia] is just naturally better than many females in the 50 and the 100 or anything that [Lia] wasn’t good at as a man.”

“It’s crazy because I don’t actually know if Lia thinks this is fair. This can’t possibly be rewarding in any way. I can’t see how anyone could feel good about this.”

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Emma Weyant” by University of Virginia Swimming and Diving