Over the last decade, women’s triathlon has made significant progress towards becoming a full-fledged NCAA championship sport. In 2022, Cal Poly Humboldt became the 40th school to add varsity women’s triathlon, meeting one of the NCAA’s requirements surrounding sustainability and success at the NCAA varsity level. Only becoming an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women in 2014, triathlon is already a varsity sport at schools in all three levels of NCAA competition across the nation.
Every fall, USA Triathlon hosts a sprint distance draft-legal championship race for schools in each of the three NCAA divisions. By sponsoring a national championship race, providing resources and funding to schools adding triathlon and championing triathlon at all levels of intercollegiate competition, USA Triathlon is committed to helping the sport reach full NCAA status.
About NCAA Triathlon
Each member institution is allowed a maximum of 6.5 (Division I) or 5.0 (Division II) equivalency scholarships. There is no lower scholarship equivalency limit.
Teams must have at least three athletes. There is no upper roster limit.
Teams must participate in at least four and at most six intercollegiate contests (except dates of competition excluded under Bylaws).
Races are draft-legal and cover the sprint distance (750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run)
- Distances for each discipline can vary slightly
Five participants per team may compete in the varsity draft-legal race.
Scoring will be modeled after the cross country scoring system.
- All athletes who finish a race will be given an overall-finish place.
- Team scoring will be calculated by totaling the points of the first three finishing athletes on each team. The team with the lowest number of points will be the winner.
- Although the athletes finishing after their fourth-place teammate on a team to finish do not score points towards their team's total, their places, if any better than those of any of the first four (4) of an opposing team, serve to increase the team score of the opponents.
As of March 2023, 42 NCAA schools sponsor women's triathlon. Stretched across all three NCAA divisions and located in 25 states, NCAA Triathlon is nationwide. No matter any prospective student-athlete's school preferences, they can find a school that fits their need.
Interested in helping to identify and recruit the next women’s varsity collegiate triathlon program? Inquiries may be directed to Tim Yount, USA Triathlon Chief Sport Development Officer.
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