NCAA National Titles up for Grabs this Weekend at the 2022 Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships
by USA Triathlon
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The 2022 Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships are set to take place this Saturday, Nov. 12 as Tempe, Arizona, once again hosts the country’s top women’s varsity collegiate triathletes all vying for individual and team national titles.
The event, organized by Kinetic Multisports and run in conjunction with the Sun Devil Triathlon Classic, will crown collegiate champions for Division I (DI), Division II (DII) and Division III (DIII) schools from across the nation.
A total of 32 schools across all three divisions will compete in a draft-legal sprint-distance course, featuring a 750-meter swim in Tempe Town Lake, followed by a 20-kilometer bike and 5k run near downtown Tempe. For race information and live tracking of athletes, visit the event’s website.
Heading into the weekend, Queens University of Charlotte leads the Division I rankings, after performances in the East Regional Qualifier in Lake Smith Mountain, Virginia, last month. Previously classified as a DII school with six DII National Titles, Queens officially moved up to DI this year. They will be competing against the five-time reigning national champions, Arizona State University. The Sun Devils are currently ranked second overall, but were the top performing school in the West Regional Qualifier, which took place in Stockton, Mo. in October.
Both schools will also see a battle for individual titles as the top-two ranked females compete. Representing Queens University, Natalia Hidalgo is currently the top-ranked DI athlete lining up on Saturday. Transferring to Queens this year, Hidalgo in 2021 finished second overall in DII, racing for Davis & Elkins College. Heidi Jurankova of Arizona State follows less than two one-hundredths of a point behind Hidalgo in the DI rankings.
Delaware State University, East Tennessee State, University of South Dakota, University of Denver, University of San Francisco and Wagner College will also compete for DI.
A total of 12 DII schools will compete in Tempe on Saturday, with Wingate University currently as the top-ranked school. Last year’s Wingate team finished second at Nationals behind Queens University. Wingate’s Julia Kekkonen is the top-ranked DII triathlete. Wingate and Kekkonen will go head-to-head against: American International College, Black Hills State University, Cal Poly Humboldt, Colorado Mesa University, Drury University, Emmanuel College, King University, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Montana State University Billings, Newberry College and St. Thomas Aquinas College.
For DIII, defending champion Trine University will compete against Calvin University, Central College, Coe College, Concordia University Wisconsin, Eastern Mennonite University, Greensboro College, Guilford College, Millikin University, North Central College, Transylvania University and Willamette University. Aly Barnes of Millikin University is the top-ranked DIII athlete.
National team titles will be awarded from the individual race scores. Scores will be determined by the total points of up to the first five scoring athletes (DI and DII) and the first four scoring athletes (DIII) of each NCAA varsity team.
The DIII race will begin first, starting at 10:30 a.m. MST. DII will follow at noon MST and DI at 1:30 p.m. MST. Awards will follow at 3:30 p.m. MST.
To date, more than 40 schools offer women’s collegiate triathlon at the varsity level, an important benchmark reached earlier this year as the NCAA Emerging Sport for Women now has a few more steps to take on its way to being fully managed by the NCAA as a Championship Sport, including committee, council, divisional and budget approvals.