May 26, 2019
In just its seventh year of existence, the Franklin Pierce University women's track & field team has its first national champion. Senior CeCe Telfer (Lebanon, N.H.) took control of the 400-meter hurdles down the back stretch on Saturday night and went on to post victory by more than a second, in a personal collegiate-best time of 57.53 seconds. Telfer also added All-America First Team accolades in the 100-meter hurdles earlier in the day, on the third and final day of the NCAA Championships, hosted by Texas A&M-Kingsville, at Javelina Stadium.
Telfer is the first student-athlete in Franklin Pierce history to collect an individual national title. It marks the seventh NCAA national championship overall in the history of the University, with all the previous crowns coming on the soccer field. The men's soccer program took home the 2007 title, while the women's soccer program finished at the top of the heap in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1999.
Telfer capped her senior season with a run all the way to the top of the 400-meter hurdles. The top qualifier from Thursday's preliminary heats, she ran out of lane 4 on Saturday, and did not disappoint. She took the lead heading down the back stretch and held it the rest of the way, pulling away from the field in the final turn and down the home stretch. When Telfer crossed the line as a national champion, she did so by posting her best time at the collegiate level, with a mark of 57.53 seconds.
"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 head coach Zach Emerson of the performance. "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."
Texas A&M-Commerce sophomore Minna Sveard took second place, as she posted a personal season-best time of 59.21 seconds. In third place, Central Washington sophomore Sidney Trinidad made it three finishers to post a time of under a minute, as she crossed the line at 59.49 seconds.
Earlier in the day, Telfer also earned All-America First Team honors in the 100-meter hurdles, with a fifth-place finish. Running out of lane 7, she crossed the line at 13.56 seconds, just one half-second behind the winner. Pittsburg State senior Courtney Nelson, who had been the top qualifier out of Friday's preliminary heats, took home the national title in 13.06 seconds. San Francisco State junior Monisha Lewis followed in second (13.29), while Minnesota-Duluth senior Danielle Kohlwey took third (13.31). Lindenwood senior Erin Hodge narrowly edged Telfer at the line for fourth place, with a time of 13.47 seconds.
A fellow Northeast-10 Conference student-athlete, Southern Connecticut State senior Briana Burt, followed Telfer in sixth out of lane 8, with a time of 13.83 seconds. Already Conference competitors, Telfer and Burt shared an embrace as fellow All-Americans after crossing the finish line.
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