June Eastwood - First NCAA transgender female distance runner

Patek's 3 Dingers

Luddite
Silver Supporter
Jul 5, 2018
430
After years of hand-wringing the first NCAA transgender female runner will be competing in Cross-Country for the University of Montana this Fall. As a male, June ran what would be world-class times for women in the 800, 1500 and 5000 with her 1500 time being just a few tenths off of the WR:


People critical of her being allowed to run, assume she will run the same times, set NCAA records and eventually win Gold Medals. However, though it's not enforced with testing, the NCAA requires hormone treatment starting a year before being allowed to compete. It's an unknown as to how much the treatment will decrease performance. Some people predict that June will slow down by the typical 10% difference between men and women. In her first race, she ran 5:51 mile pace for 4K on the same course that she ran 5:07 pace as a male. Her detractors believe she was sandbagging and will win the NCAA championships in November.

People predicting an end of women's sports, assume a wave of "cheaters" is coming who will transgender only for the purpose of winning medals and for financial gains. However, the effects of hormone treatment, which include growing permanent breasts and possible sterility, should discourage insincere males. The impact on social and family relationships would be devastating as well.

I believe that since transgender females represent less than 1% of the population there will never be any significant effect on women's sports by their being allowed to compete. It also appears that the effects of hormone treatment mean that it would take a world-class male distance runner to become world-class as a female and I don't see ever that happening.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
42,358
It also appears that the effects of hormone treatment mean that it would take a world-class male distance runner to become world-class as a female and I don't see ever that happening.
I don't know about world-class but CeCe Telfair has already run NCAA meets, first as a male and then as a female. In her event (400m hurdles) her time as a female was slower, but placement in field was much higher. As a male his time was good enough for 10th in a conference meet. When she ran .2 seconds slower as female, she was an NCAA champion.

NCAA rankings:
2016 (male): 200
2017 (male): 390
2019 (female): national champion

 

barbed wire Bob

crippled by fear
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Patek's 3 Dingers

Luddite
Silver Supporter
Jul 5, 2018
430
I don't know about world-class but CeCe Telfair has already run NCAA meets, first as a male and then as a female. In her event (400m hurdles) her time as a female was slower, but placement in field was much higher. As a male his time was good enough for 10th in a conference meet. When she ran .2 seconds slower as female, she was an NCAA champion.

NCAA rankings:
2016 (male): 200
2017 (male): 390
2019 (female): national champion

CeCe ran D-2 and her time would have been the 12th fastest for D-1. I've heard that she trained harder as a female than she did as a male and, as I wrote above, the NCAA does not test to confirm compliance with hormone treatment requirements.

It's possible that transgender female athletes could have an advantage so I don't want to see one set records are make Olympic teams, but a D-2 champion doesn't bother me too much. As for distance running, June will be a good data point for the effects of hormone treatment.
 

santadevil

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Aug 1, 2006
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Saskatchestan
I believe that since transgender females represent less than 1% of the population there will never be any significant effect on women's sports by their being allowed to compete. It also appears that the effects of hormone treatment mean that it would take a world-class male distance runner to become world-class as a female and I don't see ever that happening.
But what are the numbers for NCAA athletes? I'm guessing also less than 1%.
Keeping in line with that thinking, I'm wondering if maybe there needs to be a 3rd division for transgender athletes to compete? I have no idea on numbers, but there is likely not enough athletes at this time to do so. But I think about girls hockey around where I live. Back in the day, the girls used to play with the boys, but their numbers were really low. Growing up, I had one girl teammate that played with us through 15U. When my oldest was a little guy and I was coaching, we had two girls on our teams most years, but then they started their own division a few years in and their numbers exploded, where there are two and three teams for the girls now.

I'm likely 1000% off base here, so I apologize if I'm heading down the wrong line of thinking. I really don't know a whole lot and am interested to see how this plays out
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
SoSH Member
Dec 16, 2010
42,358
It's possible that transgender female athletes could have an advantage so I don't want to see one set records are make Olympic teams, but a D-2 champion doesn't bother me too much.
It might bother the other D2 runners though. It's fine that your threshold for what bothers you is higher, but that's setting an artificial line.
 

Patek's 3 Dingers

Luddite
Silver Supporter
Jul 5, 2018
430
It might bother the other D2 runners though. It's fine that your threshold for what bothers you is higher, but that's setting an artificial line.
Your point is correct, but it's an argument that transgender women should not be allowed to compete. The idea that transgender females should be accepted as female, but with the caveat they can't compete against women, lost in court several years ago. That men are better athletes is a compelling counter-argument so hormone treatment is the compromise and it's been adapted by the NCAA, USATF, IAAF and the IOC. I accept them being allowed to compete and have no ill will towards them at all, but I don't know if it's a level playing field and don't want it to become an issue at the higher levels of sports that I follow.