As Craig he 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.
Her last competition as Craig was in January 2018, when she finished eighth in a field of nine in the Men's 400 meters at the Middlebury Winter Classic in Vermont.
After that race Telfer resigned from the men's team as she continued her transition. She joined the women's team that October.
A transgender athlete who competed as a man before winning the NCAA women’s national championship last month has claimed she doesn’t have an unfair advantage over female-born runners.
Cece Telfer made history when she became the first transgender woman to clinch an NCAA track title, when she won the women's 400-meter hurdles at the Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships for Franklin Pierce University on May 25.
But ever since her triumph has been shrouded in controversy, sparking debate in the running world amid concerns that transgender athletes competing in women's sports may provide them with an unfair edge.
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.
However Telfer insists being biologically male doesn’t provide her with any edges over her female-born opponents, believing the medical procedures she’s going through as part of her gender transitioning to be a significant disadvantage.
‘If anything, me competing against cis gender females is a disadvantage, because my body is going through so many medical implications,’ Telfer said during an interview with ESPN.
‘It’s going through biochemistry changes. … Being on hormone replacement therapy … your muscle is deteriorating, you lose a lot of strength because testosterone is where you get your strength, your agility.’
Telfer added that she needs to work twice as hard to maintain her strength, as her cis female counterparts.
‘I have to work twice as hard to keep that strength. If I slack a day, that’s like three days set behind. So, I have to keep up my workouts. … I can’t drink, I can’t eat unhealthy because it’s going to impact me harder.’
Claims that testosterone could give her an advantage were also quashed by the up-and-coming runner, as Telfer says she’s taking hormone suppressors and therefore it provides no benefit.
‘That’s another disadvantage,’ she said. ‘Cis women are producing more testosterone than the average trans female.’
‘So it’s crazy! I’m the crazy one, to be the weakest female, the weakest link in the chain, to be competing against the top ones. I should be fingered as the stupid one, for wanting to do that in the first place.’
Telfer believes her unprecedented victory marked the beginning of a ‘powerful movement’, insisting her gold medal has empowered her as a female athlete.
Cece Telfer made history when she became the first transgender woman to clinch an NCAA track title last month. But ever since her triumph has been shrouded in controversy, sparking debate.