June Eastwood's name continues to stir controversy as she makes history being the first transgender woman to run an NCAA Division I Cross Country Race this Saturday. The senior hailing from the University of Montana will become the fastest distance runner to ever compete in an NCAA Division I Women's Race. She will be the first-ever male-to-female transgender to ever step foot to compete in the race.
For the first three years since she set foot in the race, he started as a male, competing for the men's team. This was before she underwent testosterone suppression treatment. It is believed that no matter how fast she is now, she will be, no doubt, slower than when she set her PR's when she was still a male.
Before, he was the #1 runner of The Grizzlies, running at the Big Sky Championship and NCAA Mountain Regional in both competitions 2016-2017. His biggest event was at the 1500 meter track wherein she was a scorer at the Big Sky Conference meet in 2018. His last race, as a male, was on May 2018.
Her records as a male were three times faster than the current NCAA women's records on the races that took place before her transition. It is unsure how slower she will be. Joanna Harper, an expert on transgender athletes who was also a runner who underwent the MTF transition, thinks that Eastwood won't even come close to her former achievements when he was a male.
Harper said "I think that most people will be surprised at how much slower she will run. Remember back in 2010-2012 when everyone thought that Caster Semenya was sandbagging? Soon people will be saying that about June too. She just isn't going to be that fast in cross country." Harper also says that June may do better in the 800-1500 race but with no doubt does she think Eastwood will dominate.
Eastwood herself says she is much slower as she lost muscle mass since taking pills that will lower her testosterone levels. The NCAA Transgender Handbook states that Eastwood must suppress her testosterone in order to qualify and compete in the women's category.
June Eastwood will be one of the most compelling athletes to compete in the NCAA this fall. Her participation will reshape the future of transgenders' case who compete in women's sports.