June Eastwood 3

June Eastwood, right and pictured here earlier this month, became the first male-to-female transgender runner to compete in a Division I cross country race on Saturday. Eastwood placed seventh overall at the Clash of the Inland Northwest in Cheney, Washington. 

CHENEY, Wash. — Beatrix Frissell didn't take long to make a splash in cross country at the college level. 

The Polson native, who won the last two Class A cross country titles while winning many more in track, crossed the finish line first at the Clash of the Inland Northwest meet in Cheney, Washington, on Saturday. 

Frissell's win paced the Montana women's cross country team to a second-place finish. She finished the 4K race with a time of 14:13.7. 

“We didn’t have any race strategies. She just went in really calm, thinking she could run in the top 10,” said first-year UM coach Clint May in a press release. “She looked incredibly comfortable even two minutes into the race.

“She just made the decision that she was going to go out and be with the leaders. At mile two, it was just her and a girl from Idaho. With about 800 meters to go, she just started pulling away.”

June Eastwood was the next Montana runner to cross the finish line, coming in at seventh place. Eastwood made history in the race as the Belgrade native was the first male-to-female transgender runner to compete in a Division I cross country meet. Eastwood is currently a redshirt senior on the Montana team. She finished the race in 14:33.0

Samantha Engebretsen, a senior from Enumclaw, Washington, also crossed the finish line in the top 10 after placing ninth with a time of 14:40.5. 

Gonzaga's women's team beat Montana by three points for the team title. The meet also included Idaho, Eastern Washington, Lewis-Clark, Whitman and Whitworth.

“The women looked good,” said May. “I was really happy with the way they engaged in the race."

Montana's men's team placed fifth out of eight teams in the 6K race. Sophomore Will Dauenhauer, a Missoula Hellgate grad, led the Grizzlies with a 16th-place finish in 18:19.2. Gonzaga also won the men's team title as well. 

The next meet for the Griz men's and women's team will be the Montana State Invitational in Bozeman on Sept. 21. 

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