someone mentioned XC. HS varsity girls run what HS frosh boys do for distance (2 mi). varsity boys here run 5k. even in NCAA it's 8k vs. 6k. it's a little anachronistic as in TF they tend to run the same distances as the boys for distance races eg 1600, 3200, 5k, 10k. do we think that women who run 10k in spring can't run 8k in fall? too weak? or that a girl who might be running 5k or 10k in college, and is already running 3200s at track and 2 miles their whole track career, can't hack 5k on varsity? my experience the good varsity ones headed to state were faster than the boy's JV over 3 mile type races.
there are some other quirks that feel more sexist with time, hurdle heights, hurdle distances, implement weights. i assume some of it is to keep the records stable.
last points to complicate what i just said. 1 in my state we are now doing some wheelchair races as part of the program. 2 if you're going to be obnoxious and exclude trans from all women's sports unless they compete birth certificate class, why not give them "open?" the exclusionary impulse leads me to believe this is less about classification and more about being a jerk.
i mean, if i wanted to be blunt, when i was subvarsity track, sometimes frosh and JV ran separate, sometimes together in the hears. then were pulled back out for their separate ranks. so john aka joan runs with the girls but ranks open. or is the idea to make them feel bad?
i personally feel like an additional open class is a fix for this. maybe girls want to race boys. maybe weaker boys want to race girls. maybe trans deserve a place. ok, open race. or nothing is stopping you from running a single race and then statistically pulling it back apart however you want, as one poster said, like almost every road race or even some college races i have seen. the idea the girls would get beat up is sexist. our JV soccer team would scrimmage the varsity women. no serious person was worried the poor girls would get battered.