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Male sophomore wins girls' state high jump championship in New Hampshire
Images via NH Track & Field/YouTube/Icons_Women/X (screenshots)

Male sophomore wins girls' state high jump championship in New Hampshire

A 10th-grade male won the New Hampshire state championship for girls' high jump after trouncing the competition in several meets leading up to the state finals.

Maelle Jacques, from Kearsarge Regional High School in North Sutton, New Hampshire, won with a jump of five feet, 1.75 inches to take home the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 2 state championship.

The high jumper competed in four regular-season meets before the state championships, placing first each time. Not only did Jacques win the high jump competitions, he also won multiple long-distance running competitions in 2023 at 1,500 and 1,600 meters.

In addition, he also had top-three finishes in long jump competitions before he beat out all competitors at the state level — even those in higher grades — in high jump.

The New Boston Post reported that former NCAA athlete Riley Gaines criticized parents in the days leading up to the event, asking how they could allow the event to take place with Jacques participating.

"How could the parents of this boy allow their son to cheat deserving women out of opportunities?" Gaines asked. "And why don’t the parents of the girls stand up and say ‘no’ for their daughters? This country is full of failing, gutless mothers and fathers."

Superintendent for the Kearsarge Regional School District Winfried Feneberg provided a written statement to the New Boston Post regarding the controversy in the spring of 2023:

Kearsarge supports all students and student-athletes regardless of their gender identity. Each student-athlete has the right to compete in the activity of their choice.

The New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association’s stance on this issue is clear: Denying that opportunity is a violation of equal rights afforded under state and federal law.

Further, we believe that limiting access to any activity violates our core mission and vision, which are grounded in supporting every student and student-athlete’s right to pursue their goals and interests. As a school community – parents and guardians, faculty, staff, and peers – we celebrate student success and personal growth on and off the field. We firmly believe in guiding each student to become caring, compassionate people who contribute positively to the world and those around them.

We are thankful that our student-athletes have been welcomed throughout the season by competing teams and their coaches, in the true spirit of athletic competition. And we remain grateful to the Kearsarge community for its steadfast commitment to equity and inclusion.

As a school community – parents and guardians, faculty, staff, and peers – we celebrate student success and personal growth on and off the field.


The New Hampshire athletic association has also stated in its policy that it is "committed to providing transgender student-athletes with equal opportunities to participate in NHIAA athletic programs consistent with their gender identity."

Several transgender athletes have won state championships in recent years in New England. This included an 11th-grade biological male named Chloe Barnes.

Barnes helped Brookline High School win the state's Interscholastic Athletics Association Division 1 Indoor Track and Field Championships after competing in the girls' 55m hurdles.

Also, Bloomfield High's Terry Miller and Cromwell High's Andraya Yearwood each won multiple Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference state titles in 2020.

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