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About the Program

In an attempt to increase the number and quality of U.S. athletes in search of Olympic glory, USA Triathlon turned its attention to the collegiate ranks with the launch of the Collegiate Recruitment Program in 2009. Of the U.S. Olympic triathletes, all but one have come from a Division I swimming or running background. Until this program was started, all those Olympians found the sport of triathlon through their own endeavors and desires. There was no active recruiting, encouragement, or mentoring to inform, support and inspire their transition post-grad into the sport of Olympic triathlon.

This program exposes collegiate swimmers and runners who have a background in the other sport to the possibility of making an Olympic team. The program goal is first to identify talent from the NCAA ranks then to streamline and professionalize the athlete’s growth in triathlon through mentorship. This includes taking them through the processes and skills needed to become elite triathletes, hopefully culminating in podium finishes at the Olympics.

The program is led by Collegiate Recruitment Program Manager Barb Lindquist, who successfully made the transition from Stanford swimmer to a 10-year elite triathlete and 2004 Olympian. 

Any collegiate coach or athlete who would like more information about this exciting possibility should contact Barb at

Do you meet the standards and could you be the next U.S. Olympic medalist?

Follow USA Triathlon Collegiate Recruitment Program on Facebook.

Collegiate Recruit Blog

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US Anti-Doping Agency

The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) oversees and coordinates the Olympic anti-doping program in the United States. Athletes who compete, are members or license holders of an NGB, or who fall under USADA's testing jurisdiction as defined in the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement testing, are subject to urine and/or blood testing both in and out of competition. 

USADA's Olympic Education department is responsible for educating athletes, including juniors and collegiate-level, about the rules of the anti-doping program. There are numerous resources on the USADA website ( that can aid in the understanding of sample collection, results management and Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE). As you move through your competitive career, it's important to be aware of the rules and how they apply to you at your current competitive state. Additionally, any medications can be checked against the WADA Prohibited List by using the Global DRO resource (

For a short webinar explaining USADA, the testing process, TUEs and the Prohibited List go to and click on the "Non-National-Level Athlete Webinar." This resource is specifically for those athletes who are not currently in USADA's Registered Testing Pool but who are competing at an elite level.

Partnership Agreement

College coaches who refer qualified athletes to us register their college programs for incentives by signing our Partnership Agreement.

Collegiate Coach Partnership Agreement for track/cross country coaches

Collegiate Coach Partnership Agreement for swim coaches

Handout for Collegiate Athletes (.pdf)

Once you've read the agreement, submit the Partnership Acceptance Form (.pdf)

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Runner, Be Our Next Olympic Triathlete!

Can you answer yes to all of the following questions?
  • I recently graduated from college and my run personal bests meet or exceed one of these standards:

    Women Men
    5000m 16:25
    1 mile
    2 mile

  • I have a swimming background, either in age group or high school, and enjoy cross training in the pool.
  • I still want to improve as a runner post-collegiately, but see myself going further as a triathlete.

If you answered yes to all three, then you have met our A Standard for the run. Congratulations!

The next step is to contact Barb Lindquist ( She can help prepare you for the Swimming Benchmark Test with workouts and video swim analysis.  The Benchmark Test is a 200 all out, 1 minute recovery, 800 all out, both from a push. Within a week, do a 100 all out from a push and then send results to Barb. Below are the B Standards for the swim.  Recent swim history and current swim training are taken into consideration with these times.



SC Yards

SC Meters

LC Meters





















Many college runners finished their NCAA eligibility feeling that they did not meet their full potential in the sport, either because of being injured or from being in a program that did not match their training needs. If you do not meet but are close to the A Standard and you believe you could reach it, follow the directions below for the Swimmer and complete the 400m/200m + 1600m run test.

Swimmer, Be Our Next Olympic Triathlete!

Can you answer yes to all of the following questions?

  • I am an NCAA Division I or II Championship qualifier, D1 Conference consolation finalist, or D3 NCAA finalist.
  • I have a running background from high school, excel at dry land run training, and have been told I'm a fluid, competent runner.
  • I have the potential to have a "runner's build" once my swim volume drops and focus becomes the run.

If you answered yes to all three, then you have met our A Standard for the swim. Congratulations!

The next step is to contact Barb Lindquist ( She can help prepare you for the Running Benchmark Test. The testing gives us a predictor of 5k and 10k potential. The times below are the B Standard for the run and can be completed on a track or on a USATF certified course. Even if you meet the below B Standard, you still need to follow the protocol for run assessment of swimmers:
  1. Prepare for 3 weeks then complete the Run Benchmark Test - 400m, 7 minute rest, 200m. Within a week complete a 1600m run time trial. Send through your results/times to Barb.
  2. If your 1600m is close to the B Standard and the fatigue index of the 400/200 falls within our range, then we will give you 7 more weeks of run training to prepare for the next round of testing. Assistance with technique is completed in this time frame via video analysis.
  3. At Week 10, you will repeat the 400m/200m test and within a week run a 5000m on the track or on a certified race course. This 5000m is a minimum standard, and an aggressive individual improvement curve will be established in order to continue in the program.

    1 mile
    2 mile

A Bona Fide Recruit
Once the A and B Standards are met, an athlete has the opportunity to become a Bona Fide recruit. It has never been as exciting as now to reach this distinction. USAT has long and short term camp opportunities for high level Olympic triathlon development. New in 2013 was the start of the CRP Resident Program. This is a year-long program based in Scottsdale starting each fall that focuses primarily on skills development for transition to high performance environments upon graduation. This program uses USAT High Performance staff and resources plus USOC backing to give the prospective Olympic triathlete the greatest opportunity to succeed. For athletes unable to pick up and move to a daily training environment, the benefits of being a Bona Fide recruit include: being connected with a local, experienced  triathlon coach who has agreed to work pro bono for a year; mentorship for you and the coach with an Olympian; opportunity to take part in clinics at key U.S. races; invitation to a week long summer camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs; assistance with equipment through USAT sponsors; guidance on race selection to earn elite pro card in timely fashion as a primary step towards earning a spot on USAT’s first funded program, The Aurum Project.

What is the Olympic Format?

Triathlon comes in a variety of distances and formats. We are recruiting for the draft-legal (DL) Olympic distance - 1500 meter swim, 40k bike, 10k run. For the women, this race takes about 2 hours, and for the men about 1:45. In the Olympics, the bike portion of the race is draft-legal, meaning you can ride right behind someone on the bike to take advantage of their draft. Most age group, non-elite, races are non-drafting, where it is illegal to ride within a certain distance of a fellow competitor. Because of the draft-legal nature of the Olympic Triathlon, the swim is important to ‘get you in the game,’ while in most races the run is what wins it. The closing 10k times in Beijing for the Olympic Gold medalists were a 33:16 for the women and a 30:45 for the men.

Team Psycho®

Team Psycho USA Triathlon CRPUSA Triathlon and the College Recruitment Program are pleased to announce Team Psycho® as a sponsor of the CRP Resident Program currently based in Scottsdale, Ariz., for the 2014 season. In a ground-breaking sponsorship program, Team Psycho®, thru its Elite Development Program, will provide travel grants to the six CRP athletes training with the National Development Coach and two USAT Performance Advisors to help ease the financial burden created by the pursuit of their Olympic dreams. Team Psycho®, a suburban Boston based triathlon club founded in 1991, created the Elite Development Program (EDP) as a not-for-profit program 10 years ago when the sport of triathlon was making its Olympic debut and the funding for up-and-coming triathletes was scarce. Their hope is that other triathlon teams in the US will follow their lead and provide financial support to developmental athletes and programs at USA Triathlon.

USA Triathlon Performance Pyramid

Click on your area of interest below to learn more.
Image Map_High Performance Pyramid 385px Pan American Games

USA Triathlon Collegiate Recruitment Program Landing from FloTrack