A hurdler who competed as a man last year won an NCAA championship in women’s hurdles over the weekend.
CeCe Telfer of Franklin Pierce University easily won the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Division II outdoor track-and-field championships Saturday, winning the final race by more than a second. Telfer also finished fifth in the 100-meter hurdles, earning All-America honors.
“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,” said Zach Emerson, head coach at the school in Rindge, New Hampshire. “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.”
According to Turtleboy Sports, Telfer was born Craig and competed in the men’s division as recently as January 2018.
In an analysis of Telfer’s performance in three conference-winning races earlier this season at the Northeast 10 conference championship, Turtleboy Sports reported that the three times — in the 60-meter dash, the 60-meter hurdles and the 200-meter dash — did not measure up to the male finalists, but won women’s races.
Most of the gaps were not small for races this short — Telfer would’ve trailed the last-placed male finalists by more than a half-second in the 60-meter dash and almost 1.7 seconds in the 200, but won the woman’s 60-meter hurdles by a half-second.
The hurdles are 6 inches shorter in the women’s contest than in the men’s race, and Telfer was a fully-grown male of 21 upon beginning gender transition.
Under NCAA bylaws, according to the Blaze, a biological male undergoing gender transition treatments can compete in the women’s division after one year.
“it is important not to overgeneralize” about transgender women having unfair physical advantage from a lifetime of a man’s body, the NCAA says in a guidance document on transgender athletes.