A biological male who identifies as a transgender woman has been named ‘Female Athlete of the Week’ by The Big Sky Conference.
June Eastwood, who previously competed in cross-country on the University of Montana’s men’s team, finished second in a field of more than 200 female runners at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational, helping Montana place seventh as a team, according to an announcement issued by the conference on Tuesday.
According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), male athletes who identify as transgender women may compete against biological females after completing one calendar year of testosterone suppression treatment.
Brian Schweyen, head coach of the University of Montana’s track and field program, said he fully supports Eastwood’s decision to compete on the women’s team, and that while some may question the fairness, the NCAA makes that determination, and he trusts their decision.
Elsewhere in the U.S., female athletes are beginning a push-back on the inclusion of transgender women in female sports, saying the biological advantages for athletes who are born male makes the competition unfair for biological women.
Selina Soule, a 16-year-old Connecticut runner who failed to qualify for her track event after two biological males scored the qualifying places, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, who has agreed to investigate.
“I’ve lost opportunities to compete at world-class tracks,” Selina said. “I’ve lost opportunities to compete in front of college coaches and gain attention, and I’ve lost opportunities to win titles.
“I know I’m not the only girl who has missed out on opportunities. There are countless other girls who have lost meets, and titles, and their drive to compete as hard as they can because they know that they’ll never be good enough to compete against these athletes.”
With the help of Alliance Defending Freedom, a petition has been established to encourage the Trump Administration and Members of Congress to safeguard the athletic and academic futures of young women.