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NCAA Triathlon for Athletes

USA Triathlon

Triathlon is an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women that where athletes swim, bike and run during a single competition. Races are sprint distance (750m swim, 20km bike, 5k run) and draft-legal, making collegiate triathlon an excellent training ground for elite and Olympic triathlon.

Prior experience in all three disciplines isn’t necessary – athletes with strong times in at least one can make strong triathletes. Interested in becoming a collegiate triathlete? Below is information on the time requirements, recruiting process and more information potential student-athletes must know regarding NCAA triathlon.

Division I Time Standards (PDF)

Division II Time Standards (PDF)

Division III Time Standards (PDF)

Compare your swim and run splits with the average splits of each division at the Women's Collegiate National Championships.

Division I

750m Swim Split: 11:13

5k Run Split: 21:35

Division II

750m Swim Split: 12:51

5k Run Split: 23:49

Division III

750m Swim Split: 13:42

5k Run Split: 23:39

Recruiting Process

  • Participate in a Combine

    USA Triathlon hosts a virtual combine for high school athletes aged 14-18 to submit swim and run times and other recruiting information to be reviewed by NCAA coaches nationwide. The combine introduces swimmers and runners to multisport in a low-presssure environment.

    To participate, you must submit times for the following distances. Times do not need to be done consecutively or even on the same day.

    • Swim: 100 meters
    • Run: 1600 meters

    Male athletes may also submit their times as collegiate club coaches also have access to the virtual combine.

    Submit Your Times, opens in a new tab
  • Research Schools and Contact Coaches

    Once you've submitted your times, start researching schools and programs you may be interested in joining. Consider every option: is there a particular part of the country you want to live in? A major you wish to study? Do you prefer big state schools or smaller private colleges?

    Once you've found a few schools you'd like to compete for, contact the head coach. Introduce yourself, express interest in competing for their school and begin a dialogue.

    Note: There are occsasional recruiting dead periods where coaches may not interact with potential student-athletes and/or their families.

    • Division I: The Monday through Thursday of the initial week during the fall signing period
    • Division II: The 48 hours prior to the 7 a.m. on the first date of the fall signing period
    View NCAA Triathlon Schools
  • Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center

    In order to be eligible to compete for a Division I or II women's triathlon program, athletes must be cleared through the NCAA Eligibility Center. The Center will review each prospective student-athlete's academic record, SAT/ACT scores and amateur status.

    It's recommended that prosepctive student-athletes register at the beginning of the junior year in high school, but there is no deadline. Students, current college students included, must be cleared before they can receive athletic scholarships or compete at a Division I or II institution.

    Athletes should also review the NCAA's eligibility requirements, including those specific to their desired level of competition.

    Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center, opens in a new tab

Coach Contact Rules to Know

Per NCAA rules, collegiate coaches have limited ability to contact recruits and prospective student-athletes.

Jenny Garrison, President of Collegiate Triathlon Coaches Association and DI NCAA Coach, and Tim Yount, Chief Sport Development Officer at USA Triathlon, discuss basic details about how the sport operates at the NCAA level, how athletes can compete at the collegiate level while juggling academics, social commitments, and school activities, what coaches are looking for in recruiting athletes, and why NCAA triathlon is here to stay.
Triathlon 101 - Meet One of the Fastest Growing Sports at the NCAA Level

Name, Image and Likeness

  • Athletes draft off each other during the bike portion of the Women's Collegiate National Championships

    USA Triathlon Foundation NIL Collective

    USA Triathlon and the USA Triathlon Foundation is the first NGB with a Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) program for NCAA triathletes.

    Read More , opens in a new tab

Information for Current NCAA Athletes

Congratulations on making an NCAA roster! While your accomplishments are already great, there's still plenty that you must know and do in order to maintain your eligibility.

Learn more about USA Triathlon's development pipeline.