ATLANTA, Ga. (WFLA) — A Sarasota Olympic silver medalist finished second to Lia Thomas, the NCAA’s first transgender champion, at the Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships on Thursday.
Virginia freshman swimmer Emma Weyant, a Sarasota Riverview High School graduate, finished 1.75 seconds behind Thomas in the women’s 500-yard freestyle final. It was her fastest career time in the event and the third fastest time in UVA history according to the university.
According to reports, the race was close throughout until Thomas pulled away in the last 100 yards.
Weyant has another shot at a national championship coming up. She came in second in the 400-yard IM prelims on Friday morning, advancing to the finals on Saturday.
Weyant won the 500-yard freestyle and came in second in the 400 IM at the ACC Championships in February.
The 400 IM is what Weyant competed in at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. She took home the silver medal, finishing .68 seconds behind Japan’s Yui Ohashi and over two second in front of bronze medalist and fellow American Hali Flickinger.
According to the AP, Thomas, a University of Pennsylvania senior, has followed NCAA rules since she started her transition in 2019, but her participation has still been a source on controversy. They also reported there were a handful of protestors at Thursday’s race.