NCAA National Titles up for Grabs this Saturday in Tempe at 2023 Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships
by USA Triathlon
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The 2023 Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships are set to take place this Saturday, Nov. 11 as Tempe, Arizona, 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 Challenge Cup, will crown collegiate champions for Division I (DI), Division II (DII) and Division III (DIII) schools from across the nation. This is the sixth consecutive year Tempe and Arizona State University has hosted the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships.
More than 30 teams from 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.
There will be two races at the National Championships, one featuring higher-ranked individuals and larger DI and DII programs, and one featuring lower-ranked individuals and teams, mostly from DII, DIII, and smaller DI programs. National Championship results for teams and individuals are then separated by division.
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 of each NCAA varsity team. Awards for the team champions and top-three individual awards in each division are presented by Air Force Special Warfare.
Arizona State University leads the Division I rankings heading into the Championship weekend. Winners of six consecutive DI national titles, the Sun Devils will face competition from Queens University of Charlotte, University of San Francisco, University of Denver and Texas Christian University, the top-five ranked teams in the country.
Queens won six DII national titles before jumping up to compete at the DI level last season, when the Royals finished second behind Arizona State. This is the first season of competition for TCU.
Top DI individual contenders include Arizona State's Amber Schlebusch and Sidney Clement; Beth Cook and Sam McInnes of Queens; University of San Francisco's Molly Elliott; Maira Carreau of University of Denver and Josi Seerig of East Tennessee State University.
In the DII race, defending champion Lenoir-Rhyne University comes to Tempe as the top-ranked DII program. Fellow North Carolina school, Wingate University is currently ranked No. 2 and finished third at the 2022 National Championships. Colorado Mesa University was runner-up at 2022 Nationals and is currently ranked No. 3 in DII.
Last year's individual national champion, Julia Kekkonnen of Wingate, returns to defend her title, and will face stiff competition from Lenoir-Rhyne's Eliska Rihova and Sabrina Fleig, and Shannon Feran of Colorado Mesa.
In the DIII competition, North Central College of Naperville, Illinois, comes to Tempe as a four-time national champion. The top-ranked team in DIII, North Central will aim to defend its 2022 national title, led by 2021 and 2022 individual champion, Hailey Poe.
The Women’s Collegiate National Championships racing begins at noon MST with Heat 1 (lower ranked athletes) and Heat 2 (higher ranked athletes) at 2:15 p.m. MST. For a full schedule of events, click here.
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. To learn more about Women’s Collegiate Triathlon, visit USA Triathlon’s website here.
About USA Triathlon
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 4,000 races and connects with more than 400,000 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 Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of World Triathlon and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC). For more information about USA Triathlon, visit www.usatriathlon.org.