A biological male who identifies as a woman won an NCAA national championship over Memorial Day weekend.
“Telfer is the first student-athlete in Franklin Pierce history to collect an individual national title,” the New Hampshire school announced.
In just its 7th year of existence, the @FPURavensXCTF has its first national champion. Senior CeCe Telfer took control of the 400-meter hurdles on Sat. PM and went on to post victory w/ a personal best time of 57.53. Read more here; https://t.co/vCukMSb7vS pic.twitter.com/gE3v7HQ3Ml
— Franklin Pierce (@FPUniversity) May 26, 2019
“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,” FPU coach Zach Emerson said in a news release.
“Today was a microcosm of her entire season; she was not going to let anything slow her down,” the coach said. “I’ve never met anybody as strong as her mentally in my entire life.”
— NCAA Division II (@NCAADII) May 26, 2019
Telfer’s victory came less than two hours after taking fifth place in the 100-meter hurdles.
OutSports, a pro-LGBT sports website, touted Telfer as “a trans athlete who doesn’t win every time.”
Out transgender sprinter #CeCeTelfer a senior at @FPUniversity wins the @NCAA track & field national championship in the 400m hurdles, just 2 secs off the D2 record! As far as we know, she is the first publicly out trans woman to win an #NCAA track & field title. Congrats, CeCe! pic.twitter.com/jS5OuStA34
— Outsports (@outsports) May 26, 2019
Telfer previously ran a variety of events for the Franklin Pierce men’s team using first name Craig, according to school records.
He competed on FPU’s men’s track team as recently as January 2018, according to published meet results from the Middlebury Winter Classic in Vermont.
Telfer had started using the name CeCe at that point, while still competing on the men’s team.
NCAA policy is that male athletes who identify as women can compete on women’s teams if they suppress their testosterone levels for a full calendar year. Otherwise, so-called mixed teams — which have both males and females — can compete in the men’s division but not in the women’s division.
The NCAA in 2011 published an explainer calling it “not well founded” to assume “that being born with a male body automatically gives a transgender woman an unfair advantage when competing against non-transgender women.”
Telfer’s victory is just the latest instance of male athletes who identify as transgender entering — and then winning — women’s athletic events.
Two male runners have dominated girls’ high school track in Connecticut, which a female competitor described as “demoralizing.”
Rachel McKinnon, a biological male who identifies as female, won a women’s world championship cycling event in October.
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