Male athlete creates controversary in cross country competition

Male athlete creates controversary in cross country competition

Last year June Eastwood competed in the men’s cross country competition.

This year he competed in the female category.

His current testosterone levels are unclear.  The governing body’s [NCAA] only requirement for a man-to-woman athlete is just one “calendar year of testosterone suppression treatment”.

There are no formal guidelines to try to ensure a level playing field – no independent verification and no maximum testosterone level permitted.

Eastwood was competitive as a male and it was feared he would crush his female counterparts.

Eastwood’s personal best in the 800 meters is 1:55.23. That’s almost four seconds faster than the collegiate record of 1:59.10 set by Raevyn Rogers in 2017.

Her personal best in the 1500 is 3:50.19. Jenny Simpson’s collegiate record, unchallenged for a decade, is almost 10 seconds slower (3:59.90). 

Eastwood has run 14:38.80 in the 5,000, far ahead of Simpson’s collegiate record of 15:01.70.

Lets Run asked some excellent questions in the lead up to Eastwood’s first race.

If Eastwood comes out and dominates this fall, will it spur the NCAA to overhaul its vague and weak transgender policy? And if she doesn’t, will MTF transgender athletes become more widely accepted in the sport of running? Will she encourage more athletes in the position Eastwood occupied as a freshman — a woman feeling trapped in a man’s body — to transition and compete as the gender they identify with? How will her teammates and competitors react?

As it happened, Eastwood placed 7th overall which allowed his team to finish in second place.

Had he not competed, his team would have placed 3rd.

Kirralie Smith, Binary spokeswoman, said it was unfair to the female athletes.

“Allowing males to compete as females creates an unfair playing field. Female athletes will miss out on places, awards, scholarships and opportunities.”