Transgender sprinter vows to ‘take all the records’ in indoor races after storming the NCAA in women’s event

A transgender athlete who competed as a man before winning the NCAA women’s national championship is vowing to return to indoor track competition and ‘take all the records’.

CeCe Telfer became the first openly trans woman to win an NCAA title when she placed first in the 400m hurdles at the Division II National Championships in 2019.

But Telfer suggests she is now planning an imminent return to competition in which she plans to blast away her fellow sprinters.

‘I look forward to indoor track, because 2024 indoors is going to be epic,’ Telfer said in an interview with Them. 

‘My dreams were taken away from me once again. So I plan on going back to New England, hitting up all the indoor competitions, and taking all the names, all the records, and everything.

Transgender runner who competed as a man before winning the NCAA women’s national championship is vowing to return to indoor track competition and ‘take all the records’.

Cece Telfer became the first openly trans woman to win an NCAA title when she placed first in the 400m hurdles at the Division II National Championships in 2019 (pictured)

Cece Telfer became the first openly trans woman to win an NCAA title when she placed first in the 400m hurdles at the Division II National Championships in 2019 (pictured)

The dreams Telfer speaks off, were to compete on the international stage.

In 2021, USA Track and Field prevented Telfer from competing in the Olympic Trials, arguing that she didn’t meet hormone-level eligibility requirements. 

Two years later, in March 2023, World Athletics, the international governing body for track, banned all trans women from racing.

It put an end to any hopes Telfer might have had in competing in this summer’s Olympics in Paris. 

In the intervening years since her 2019 win, Telfer says she has been homeless and no longer speaks to her biological family. 

She also has been open of the abuse and harassment she has received both publicly and in private for her participation in women’s sports. 

But Telfer, who set records while competing for Franklin Pierce University, appears to have a burning desire to return to the race track and is serious about setting new records in the process. 

‘That doesn’t look like first all the time, that doesn’t look like second place, that doesn’t look like podium all the time, but the track meets that count will count. That’s what’s burning this fire in my heart and in my body. So it’s keeping me going to know that I can go to indoor competitions and still be the girl to talk about, period.’ 

The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) has not yet put out specific ruled regarding the participation of transgender athletes in sports.

Previously, the body has said said they would mirror the rules put forward by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee while each individual sport would follow the national governing body for each sport. 

If no national governing body exists, then each sport would then follow whatever the current international policy is. 

Telfer vows a return to the track to break 'all the records'. She is pictured this past weekend

Telfer vows a return to the track to break ‘all the records’. She is pictured this past weekend

Telfer (right) pictured after winning a Division II national title in the 400-meter hurdles as a senior at Franklin Pierce University  in 2019

Telfer (right) pictured after winning a Division II national title in the 400-meter hurdles as a senior at Franklin Pierce University  in 2019

A native of Jamaica, Telfer moved to Canada at age 12 before relocating to New Hampshire as a high school junior. It was there that Telfer began participating in track and field

A native of Jamaica, Telfer moved to Canada at age 12 before relocating to New Hampshire as a high school junior. It was there that Telfer began participating in track and field

Telfer, who was born and raised as Craig, competed in the men's division in January 2018 before undergoing gender reassignment surgery prior to the 2019 season

Telfer, who was born and raised as Craig, competed in the men’s division in January 2018 before undergoing gender reassignment surgery prior to the 2019 season

Telfer competed on the men's team at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire from 2016 to 2018, even though she identified as a woman

Telfer competed on the men’s team at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire from 2016 to 2018, even though she identified as a woman

The NCAA’s transgender policy was updated in January 2022 while with the ruled enforced from August 1.

By comparison, earlier this year the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), a smaller organization compared to the NCAA, has banned transgender athletes in women’s sports.

The NAIA justified its decision saying it was rooted in ‘fair and safe competition for all student-athletes’ and that ‘Title IX ensures there are separate and equal opportunities for female athletes.’ 

The organization said only athletes whose biological sex is female may participate in ‘NAIA-sponsored female sports.’

Telfer has said she is ‘heartbroken’ and ‘distraught’ over those rules.

Telfer has suggested she is planning an imminent return to competition in which she plans to blast away her fellow female sprinters

Telfer has suggested she is planning an imminent return to competition in which she plans to blast away her fellow female sprinters

Telfer, who competed for Franklin Pierce University, appears to have a burning desire to return to the race track and is serious about setting new records in the process

Telfer, who competed for Franklin Pierce University, appears to have a burning desire to return to the race track and is serious about setting new records in the process

Telfer published her memoir this month

Telfer published her memoir this month

‘Why are we going back? Why are we reverting? We’re literally going back in history,’ Telfer said. 

‘This is not real life, because we were moving forward and now we’re moving backwards. This is scary. The fact that people are powerful enough to move backwards is scary, not only for transgender women, but it should be scary for society at large…They’ve always been policing women’s bodies. It’s going down to cis women and what’s going on in their lives and their bodies.

‘It breaks my heart because I had an opportunity. The NCAA saw me. They gave me a chance to be that voice and be that physical change, and they were taking a step in the right direction and obviously creating history, hoping that other organizations would follow.’

The issue took center stage in 2022 with UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas, pictured, who began competing in women's collegiate swimming a 18 months after transitioning setting records

The issue took center stage in 2022 with UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas, pictured, who began competing in women’s collegiate swimming a 18 months after transitioning setting records

Although professional bodies set up their own rules and regulations debates have erupted across the country over athletes competing in high school and college. 

The issue took center stage in 2022 with UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas, who began competing in women’s collegiate swimming a year and a half after transitioning. 

Thomas went on to break several women’s records, much to the dismay of several of her teammates, and the NCAA and US Swimming bodies were criticized for allowing Thomas to compete. 

Professional competitive swimming association FINA has since effectively banned trans women from competing in the sport, by saying they must have begun to transition before puberty kicked in, which is illegal or almost impossible to do across most of the US. 

24 states have now outlawed transgender students from competing in girls’ sports. 

One notable example is Ohio, which passed a bill requiring students accused of being transgender to provide a doctor’s note detailing their sexual anatomy, their testosterone levels, and their genetic makeup.

In New Jersey, Republican lawmakers proposed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which would require female student-athletes to verify the nature of their genitals to compete.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Michael Testa, compared genitalia checks to random drug tests that college athletes are subject to, and said he didn’t foresee any problems with irate parents accusing girls of being transgender.

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