A transgender athlete at the University of Montana – a biological male now competing in women's cross country – was recently named "female" athlete of the week for excelling in a race.
Just last year, Jonathan Eastwood was a winning runner on the men's team in 5,000-meter and 1,500-meter races. This year, the senior goes by the name "June" (pictured, far right) – and finished second in a group of 204 female runners at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational late last month. That performance in the 6k race earned him the Big Sky Cross Country "Female Athlete of the Week" honor.
Steve McConkey of 4 WINDS Christian Athletics has been an outspoken critic of transgender men competing against women.
"… I've been following the performances [of transgender male athletes]. They're improving," he offers. "And so when June Eastwood got female Big Sky Female Person of the Week, it did not surprise me."
Eastwood's second-place finish at the invitational – one second behind the winner – also caught the attention of Bill Zwerger at American Thinker:
"I have the sneaking suspicion that his latest second-place finish was due to him 'letting off the gas' toward the end of the race, seeking to minimize the negative publicity his winning yet again would have garnered, along with the outrage his female opponents must feel in having a male win every race against them."
For similar reasons, McConkey – who admits the performances he's seeing are not yet "spectacular" – believes Eastwood is maneuvering to qualify for women's competition in the upcoming Olympics next summer in Tokyo by holding back for now.
"I think the athlete is actually dogging it and trying to get his testosterone levels down," he tells OneNewsNow. "But I think over time, you're going to see [a transgender] athlete who will be in the Olympic trials and potentially could go very far."
The Daily Mail points out that in accordance with NCAA policy, male athletes who identify as transgender women must suppress testosterone levels for a full calendar year before competing in women's sports.