How to reshape the future of women’s sports

Another one:

When June Eastwood steps onto the start line for the Clash of the Inland Northwest cross country meet on Saturday morning in Cheney, Wash., she will make history. Eastwood, a senior at the University of Montana, will become the fastest distance runner to ever compete in an NCAA Division I women’s race.

In fact, it won’t even be close.

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.

Despite those PBs, it is far from certain Eastwood will win on Saturday. Eastwood has won just two races out of 56 in three years of competition for Montana. She’s never won a national title or earned All-American honors. In fact, she’s never even qualified for the national meet.

The reason? For the first three years of her career, June Eastwood competed on the men’s team.

Competed on the men’s team and didn’t do all that well so hey, let’s try the other team.

Unless Eastwood is utterly awful this fall, it seems likely that she will face questions about whether she has an unfair advantage because of her chromosomal sex — and how big that advantage is. If she’s 20th at NCAAs, will someone complain that she bumped someone out of All-American honors? If she’s 5th at her conference meet, will someone complain she bumped someone out of all-conference honors? If she’s 5th on her team, will someone complain she bumped someone off the travel squad?

All of this makes Eastwood one of the most compelling athletes in the NCAA this fall. How she runs — and how the NCAA reacts — could set a precedent for how the NCAA handles MTF transgender cases and reshape the future of women’s sports.

And “reshape the future of women’s sports” in the sense of killing it stone dead. There won’t be any women’s sports any more, because men who claim to be women will take all of it over.

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