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Cece Telfer

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CeCé Telfer
Alma materFranklin Pierce University
Years active2016–present
Sports career
CountryUnited States
SportTrack and field
Event(s)400-meter hurdle
College teamFranklin Pierce Ravens
Coached byZach Emerson

CeCé Telfer is a Jamaican-American athlete who, in 2019, became the first openly transgender person to win an NCAA title.[2][3] While a student athlete at Franklin Pierce University, Telfer first competed without success in the men's division from 2016 to 2017 but after coming out and beginning transition, Telfer was allowed to compete in the women's division. Telfer eventually took first place in the 400-meter hurdles event in June 2019.


Telfer is a trans woman but competed on the Franklin Pierce University men's track and field team in 2016 and 2017. In the 400 m hurdles at the 36-inch men's division height, she ranked 200th in 2016 and 390th in 2017 among NCAA Division II athletes competing in that event in the men's division those years. Under NCAA rules, transgender athletes can compete in women's events after completing one calendar year of testosterone suppression treatment.[4] Telfer gained wide public recognition after Donald Trump Jr. quoted an article title referring to Telfer as a "biological male," calling her recent competition wins a "grave injustice" against "young women".[5][6][7][8]

Telfer qualified for the NCAA Women's Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 2019, ranking third in 60-meter hurdles and seventh in the 200-meter dash nationally in the women's division.[9] She finished sixth in the 60-meter hurdles finals, and first in the 400-meter hurdles finals at the 30-inch women's division height.[10]

Following her victory in the 400-meter hurdles, Telfer appeared on Outside the Lines on ESPN on June 13, 2019. During her interview, she praised her coaches for their support, detailing how they took steps to protect her physical and mental well-being during the competition, hiring additional security guards and advising her to stay off of social media for 48 hours following her win to help limit her exposure to transphobic comments and postings.[11]

In another interview with Outsports, Telfer denied that testosterone gave her an advantage over cisgender athletes, saying that she'd been on hormone therapy for quite some time and that her testosterone levels were lower than the average woman's as a result. Additionally, Telfer stated that her height, which is 6' 2", put her at a disadvantage as her size gives her wind resistance and because in the women's 100-meter hurdles, one of her chosen events, the hurdles are placed much closer together than the men's hurdles were, over half a meter closer together.[12]

Telfer sought to compete in the 2020 Olympic Trials in the 400-meter hurdles, and was initially accepted into the field. She was later removed from the event after USA Track & Field determined that she was not able to prove her eligibility for the event under guidelines set for transgender athletes.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Telfer was born in Jamaica and assigned male at birth. She was raised by a single mother, one of three children. The family moved to Canada when she was 12, before settling in New Hampshire when she was in her junior year of high school. Her high school coach, Andrew Gamble, recruited Telfer for track and field.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About".
  2. ^ Stark-Mason, Rachel. "A Time of Transition". NCAA. Archived from the original on November 18, 2019. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  3. ^ Ennis, Dawn (June 3, 2019). "NCAA champion says being transgender gives her no advantage". Outsports. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  4. ^ "NCAA Policy on Transgender Student-Athlete Participation". Washington & Lee. Archived from the original on March 24, 2019. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  5. ^ "CeCe TELFER". Archived from the original on December 30, 2019.
  6. ^ "Telfer Shines Again for Women's Track & Field at John Thomas Terrier Classic". Franklin Pierce. January 25, 2019. Archived from the original on February 27, 2019. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  7. ^ Ennis, Dawn (February 26, 2019). "Donald Trump, Jr. calls trans athlete's success 'grave injustice' to women". Outsports. Archived from the original on February 28, 2019. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  8. ^ Villarreal, Daniel (February 26, 2019). "Turns out Donald Trump Jr. has some transphobic views too, just like his dear ol' dad". Queerty. Archived from the original on February 27, 2019. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  9. ^ "Track & Field has Three Selected to NCAA Championships". Franklin Pierce. February 26, 2019. Archived from the original on March 8, 2019. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  10. ^ Ennis, Dawn (March 10, 2019). "CeCe Telfer is a trans athlete who doesn't win every time". Outsports. Archived from the original on March 30, 2019. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  11. ^ "Telfer encourages others to live their best authentic life - High School Girls' Soccer Video - ESPN". June 14, 2019. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  12. ^ Ennis, Dawn (June 3, 2019). "NCAA champion says being transgender gives her no advantage". Outsports. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  13. ^ "Transgender runner CeCe Telfer ruled ineligible for U.S. Olympic trials". ESPN. June 24, 2020. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  14. ^ "A Time of Transition". Retrieved February 1, 2021.