First-Ever Trans ‘Woman’ To Compete In Olympic Trials


The first male-to-female transgender athlete qualified for the United States Olympic Marathon Trials despite her time exceeding the male eligibility cutoff by over 20 minutes.

Megan Youngren earned a 40th place finish at the 2019 California International Marathon with a time of 2:43:42, just below the secondary female qualifying cutoff of 2:45:00 and missing the primary cutoff of 2:37:00 by nearly seven minutes.

Megan Youngren’s results from the 2019 California International Marathon.


If she competed in the male division, Youngren would not have qualified for the Olympic trials, as she missed the first male cutoff time of 2:15:00 by nearly 30 minutes and secondary cutoff of 2:19:00 by nearly 25 minutes. 

Additionally, she would have tied for 411th place, barely landing her in the top 10% of male competitors – a marked difference from her 40th place finish placing her in the top 2% of female competitors.

Results from the 2019 California International Marathon male division.


She acknowledged “people will try to put [qualifying] down by saying, ‘That’s too easy because you’re trans. But what about the 500 other women who will qualify? There’s probably someone with the exact same story. I trained hard. I got lucky. I dodged injuries. I raced a lot, and it worked out for me. That’s the story for a lot of other people, too.”

Younger began her transition in 2011 as a student in college by taking hormone medication and came out a year later in 2012. She ran her first marathon in 2017.

This announcement comes just days after three female high school runners filed a federal lawsuit attempting to block transgender athletes in Connecticut from competing in girls’ sports.

Youngren is now eligible to join 62 other women vying for a spot on the official Tokyo-bound Olympic team at another trial in Atlanta.

Natalie Winters

Natalie Winters is freelance reporter.

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