Transgender swimmer at Ramapo College faces more criticism after breaking school record

A transgender swimmer at Ramapo College of New Jersey is facing another round of criticism from Riley Gaines after breaking another school record at the New Jersey Athletic Conference Championships last week.

Meghan Cortez-Fields is a senior at the Mahwah school and is originally from College Station, Texas. Before this year, she swam for the men's swim team at Ramapo for three years.

In November, Cortez-Fields found herself and the school facing controversy after breaking a school record in the 100-yard butterfly.

On Friday, day two of the NJAC Championships, Cortez-Fields swam a time of 2:08.20 in the 200-yard individual medley breaking the previous school record set by Brenda Arthur in 2016 of 2:10.10.

Meghan Cortez-Fields' official Ramapo College of New Jersey Swim Team profile picture
Meghan Cortez-Fields' official Ramapo College of New Jersey Swim Team profile picture

Later that day Gaines, a University of Kentucky alumna and well-known but controversial figure in the debate over the rights of transgender athletes, took to her X account to make a statement on Cortez-Fields' NJAC performance.

"Male swimmer from Ramapo College sets another school record in women's event," said Gaines. "Now tell me again the strides of women have made when society applauds a man for pushing us off our own podium... Title IX literally means nothing at this point."

Title IX applies to schools, local and state educational agencies, and other institutions that receive federal assistance from the Department of Education. The purpose of Title IX is to protect people from discrimination based on sex in federally funded education programs or activities.

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Based on the current rules of the NCAA, which has had a transgender student-athlete participation policy since 2010, participation in women's sports by Cortez-Fields does not break any rules.

Back in November, Lisa Ambrose, director of communications and public relations at Ramapo College told The Record, "There are strict measures that the NCAA makes trans athletes go through. You have to meet certain criteria to show that you're able to, as a trans athlete, compete with women. We are an affiliate member of the NCAA. We are in compliance. We have done everything the NCAA says needs to be done regarding trans athletes competing on the team."

After breaking the record in November, Ramapo College athletics posted it to their social media pages, congratulating Cortez-Fields as they do for all athletes who take home big wins or break records. This post was taken down shortly after when negative and insulting comments began to pour in.

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Their current post however, which went up on Saturday, has received mostly positivity feedback with comments such as, "Well done Meghan!!!" and "Great job Meg, so happy for you!"

"We are doing what we always do, which is supporting our students," said Ambrose. "All of our students deserve support."

This article originally appeared on Ramapo College trans swimmer criticized after breaking record