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Breaking Barriers: Gallaudet University, School for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Becomes 14th NCAA Division III School to Add Women’s Varsity Triathlon

by USA Triathlon

Gallaudet University

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Gallaudet University, a private university in Washington D.C., and the first school for the advanced education of the deaf and hard of hearing, is adding women’s triathlon to its NCAA varsity sport offerings.

The 14th NCAA Division III program to offer women’s triathlon at the varsity level, Gallaudet is set to begin competition in fall 2024. Gallaudet remains the only higher education institution in which all programs and services are designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students.

“I can confidently say that our announcement of Gallaudet as the next NCAA triathlon program, might be one of the most rewarding days we have had over the past 10 years,” said USA Triathlon Chief Sport Development Officer, Tim Yount. “This addition will open the doors to many new athletes, both in the U.S. and internationally, who are eager to meet their academic and athletic goals. Not only are these student-athletes breaking barriers for NCAA triathlon, but they are leading the way for inclusion in every NCAA athletic program. We are fortunate that Gallaudet Athletic Director, Warren Keller, had the vision to see triathlon as a great steppingstone for them to also meet their many goals as an academic institution.”

“The addition of Gallaudet University in the NCAA women’s triathlon movement represents a major milestone that will continue to pave the way for inclusion in multisport,” said USA Triathlon CEO Victoria Brumfield. “We are excited to see new athletic opportunities for female student-athletes at Gallaudet and are excited to see them shape the future of our sport.”

"We're thrilled to announce the addition of Women's Triathlon to Gallaudet's expanding athletic programs," said Gallaudet Athletic Director, Warren Keller. "This sport offers enhanced opportunities for our female athletes, and its seamless integration is not only with our existing athletic programs but also with cycling, as a rapidly growing activity in deaf athletics. This addition opens up new avenues for deaf and hard of hearing youth to excel as prospective collegiate student-athletes."

As the fifth NCAA program to add triathlon in the past six months, Gallaudet’s monumental commitment is continuing the momentum of women’s collegiate triathlon officially becoming an NCAA Championship sport. With more than 40 schools now offering women’s collegiate triathlon, the NCAA Emerging Sport for Women has met the 10-year window to demonstrate sustainability and success at the NCAA varsity level. Women’s Triathlon now has a few more steps to take on its way to being fully managed by the NCAA as a championship event, including committee, council, divisional and budget approvals.

The university’s addition of women's triathlon as a collegiate varsity sport is made possible through a grant from the USA Triathlon Foundation. The USA Triathlon Foundation Women's Emerging Sport Grant is distributed to NCAA membership institutions to develop, implement, and sustain women's triathlon programs at the varsity level.

A fall sport, the women’s triathlon varsity season includes National Qualifiers, followed by the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships. The draft-legal races are sprint-distance, featuring a 750-meter open-water swim, draft-legal 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run. Women’s Varsity Collegiate Regional Championships are being held Oct. 12 in Springfield, Missouri and Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships will be held Nov. 9 in Clermont, Florida.

In the draft-legal format, athletes work together in packs on the bike and make multiple loops on a closed course. The exciting, spectator-friendly draft-legal format is the same format contested in the triathlon competition at the Olympic Games and on the World Triathlon Championship Series circuit.

For more information about triathlon as an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women, visit

Interested in helping to identify and recruit the next women’s varsity collegiate triathlon program? Athletes currently competing in the sport and those who come from single-sport backgrounds are invited to compete at the NCAA level. Inquiries may be directed to Tim Yount, USA Triathlon Chief Sport Development Officer, at

(Photo by Gallaudet University)

USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon, paratriathlon, and indoor and virtual multisport events in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 3,500 events and races and connects with and supports more than 300,000 unique active members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Triathlon World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

NCAA Division I (16)

Arizona State University (Tempe, Ariz.)

Delaware State University (Dover, Del.)

Chicago State University (Chicago, Ill.)

Duquesne (Pittsburgh, Pa.)

East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, Tenn.)

Hampton University (Hampton, Va.)

La Salle University (Philadelphia, Pa.)

Queens University of Charlotte (Charlotte, N.C.)

Texas Christian University (Fort Worth, Texas)

University of Arizona (Tucson, Ariz.)

University of Denver (Denver, Colo.)

University of Northern Kentucky (Highland Heights, Ky.)

University of San Francisco (San Francisco. Calif.)

University of South Dakota (Vermillion, S.D.)

U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis, Md.)

Wagner College (Staten Island, N.Y.)

Black Hills State University (Spearfish, S.D.)

Cal Poly Humboldt (Arcata, Calif.)

Colorado Mesa University (Grand Junction, Colo.)

Drury University (Springfield, Mo.)

Emmanuel College (Franklin Springs, Ga.)

King University (Bristol, Tenn.)

Lenoir-Rhyne University (Hickory, N.C.)

Newberry College (Newberry, S.C.)

Roberts Wesleyan University (Rochester, N.Y.)

St. Thomas Aquinas College (Sparkill, N.Y.)

University of Indianapolis (Indianapolis, Ind.)

Wingate University (Wingate, N.C.)

Alvernia University (Reading, Pa.)

Calvin College (Grand Rapids, Mich.)

Central College (Pella, Iowa)

Coe College (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

Concordia University Wisconsin (Mequon, Wis.)

Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, Va.)

Gallaudet University (Washington, D.C.)

Greensboro College (Greensboro, N.C.)

Guilford College (Greensboro, N.C.)

Millikin University (Decatur, Ill.)

North Central College (Naperville, Ill.)

Trine University (Angola, Ind.)

Warren Wilson College (Swannanoa, N.C.)

Willamette University (Salem, Ore.)