A college hurdler who was born male but has been competing as a female just became an NCAA women's national champion.
CeCe Telfer of Franklin Pierce University won the 400-meter hurdles Saturday night by more than a second with a personal collegiate-best time of 57.53 seconds and also was named to the All-America First Team in the 100-meter hurdles.
In just its 7th year of existence, the @FPURavensXCTF has its first national champion. Senior CeCe Telfer took cont… https://t.co/nGbqupE8nB— Franklin Pierce (@Franklin Pierce) 1558882456.0
Telfer is the school's first women's track & field champion. FPU is an NCAA Division II school in Rindge, New Hampshire.
What did Telfer's head coach have to say?
"It was tough conditions out here with the wind and the heat over the last three days, but as she has over the last six months, CeCe proved herself to be tough enough to handle it," head coach Zach Emerson said of Telfer's run. "Today was a microcosm of her entire season; she was not going to let anything slow her down. I've never met anybody as strong as her mentally in my entire life."
WT&F: NATIONAL CHAMPION! 🏆 Telfer claims program's first-ever national title, with win in 400-meter hurdles, adds A… https://t.co/hQLLPpQ5ke— FPU Ravens (@FPU Ravens) 1558835150.0
What's the background?
Telfer — formerly known as Craig — as recently as January 2018 ran with the men's track & field team at Franklin Pierce University. Telfer started going by the name CeCe while competing with the men before transitioning to women's competition.
According to the website Turtleboy Sports, which researched some of Telfer's statistics as a male competitor, Telfer was an above-average male hurdler. But as women's hurdles are lower, Telfer soon dominated the competition and became the top women's competitor in the women's 55-meter hurdles and 55-meter sprint.
The NCAA has had a policy for transgender athletes for years. It is legal under NCAA bylaws for a biological male to compete in the women's division if that male has suppressed his testosterone levels for one year.
A guidance document on the issue published by the NCAA took the stance that it is not accurate to assume that a male who has transitioned to become a transgender female has an unfair advantage over a biological woman, saying "it is important not to overgeneralize."
Here's a clip of Telfer in action earlier this spring:
Born a Male, CeCe Telfer, Dominates in Women's NCAAyoutu.be