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Transgender track stars win state championship, ignites debate over rules

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) - Connecticut high school athletes Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood swept the competition at the state championships for girls track and field. 

Miller, a sophomore at Bulkeley High School took first place in the 100- and 200-meter dash.  Andraya, a sophomore at Cromwell High School took second in the 100-meter dash. The wins are not sitting well with everyone. Miller and Yearwood are both transgender, and some say it's an unfair advantage and uneven playing field. 

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In a 2017 interview with News 8, Andraya Yearwood said even as a child, she identified as a girl. 

"I had these pink and purple furry boots that I wore to school," Yearwood said. "I guess since I was always different I learned to deal with it and grow tougher skin over it."

Some parents and student-athletes have started petitions to change the policy that athletes in Connecticut high schools can play for gender specific sport they identify with. One petition is circulating in Plainville, the other in Glastonbury. 

READ MORE: Some calling for rule change after transgender track stars smoke competition

The CIAC, Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, says its policy is directly in alignment with state law and for their policy to change, state law would also have to change. They say they empathize and are listening to all athletes, but this is a very complex legal issue with multiple layers. Those we talked to agree, it's a very complicated topic. 

"You have some people who believe men are stronger and faster so I can understand if an athlete is born male but identifying as a female and compete as one, some females will feel a particular way about it," Clinton Baker said.  

"If she identifies as a girl then I think she should be able to run in the race because she can use the ladies room, she can wear a skirt, why not run and stay active," Natasha Morgan said.  

"The cream rises to the top," Baker added.  "Athletes now will tell you if you put UConn women on the court with men, UConn men might lose. It's all in the spirit of competition, hard work and heart."

Yearwood says she's extremely grateful for the opportunity to be exactly who she says she has always been. 

"I'm extremely grateful because I've heard of stories where some people don't get the same opportunities as me and have had to go through really hard times with this," Yearwood said.

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