A transgender woman who previously competed as a man has become a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) track champion.
CeCe Telfer clinched the women’s 400-meter hurdles national title at the 2019 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships for Franklin Pierce University on May 25.
Her triumph has been surrounded by controversy as many in the running world express concerns that transgender athletes competing in women’s sports may have an unfair advantage.
Telfer completed the course with a stunning time of 57.53s, with the second place opponent trailing far behind with a score of 59.21s. She also earned All-American First Team honors with a fifth-place finish in the 100m hurdles earlier in the day.
Telfer’s coach Zach Emerson praised his team member’s performance, saying: ‘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.
‘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.
Telfer was born and raised as Craig and competed on the men’s team at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire from 2016 to 2018, even though she personally identified as a woman.
In the 2016-2017 season, Telfer was not even in the top 200 male athletes in her event. South Africa’s middle distance runner Caster Semenya recently filed an appeal after the court struck off her suit challenging ruling that Transgender athletes need to take medication to reduce their levels of male sex hormone as it gives them undue advantage.