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Chicago State University Becomes 14th NCAA Division I School to Add Women’s Collegiate Triathlon

by USA Triathlon

Chicago State University is the 14th NCAA Division I school to add women's triathlon (Photo by USA Triathlon)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon and Chicago State University today announced Chicago State University, a Predominantly Black Institution in Chicago, Illinois, will become the 14th NCAA Division I program to offer women’s triathlon at the varsity level. Chicago State begins competition in fall 2024 and will begin the search to hire a head coach by spring 2024.

“The addition of women’s triathlon at Chicago State represents a major milestone in the women’s collegiate triathlon movement,” said Victoria Brumfield, USA Triathlon CEO. “USA Triathlon is dedicated to breaking down barriers of entry and increasing the availability and presence of triathlon in all communities. We are thrilled to see new athletic opportunities for female Chicago State student-athletes, who will shape the future of our sport for years to come and drive collegiate triathlon competition to the highest level.”

“We are grateful to the exploratory committee for their work, which has led us to this milestone moment in CSU history and our sports program. We also appreciate the CSU community including alumni for their enthusiasm and support in this journey,” said Dr. Monique Carroll, CSU's Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. “Launching women's triathlon and our fundraising campaign for sports expansion represent a major step forward in the future of Chicago State Athletics. It's a great time to be a Cougars fan!”

Chicago State’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.

The commitment by Chicago State continues the momentum women’s collegiate triathlon has gathered toward 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.

A fall sport, the women’s triathlon varsity season includes National Qualifiers, followed by the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships held this Nov. 11 in Tempe, Arizona. The draft-legal races are sprint-distance, featuring a 750-meter open-water swim, draft-legal 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run.

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 https://www.usatriathlon.org/multisport/ncaa-triathlon.

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, at tim.yount@usatriathlon.org.

About Chicago State University

Chicago State University, founded in 1867, is the oldest public university in the Chicago Metropolitan area. The University’s five colleges offer over 70 undergraduate and graduate degree-granting and non-degree programs. CSU is committed to equity in education, serving as the only U.S. Department of Education-designated four-year Predominantly Black Institution in Illinois and ranked by a Harvard economist in the top 4% of public and private universities nationwide in supporting our graduates’ economic mobility. The University serves as a prominent civic space on the greater South Side of Chicago by hosting a multitude of athletic, educational, cultural, and recreational activities. The University is located near public transit that provides convenient access to the campus.

About Chicago State Athletics

Chicago State University Athletics is composed of 15 intercollegiate teams involving over 150 student-athletes that compete in basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and volleyball. CSU held memberships in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and NCAA Division II before transitioning to NCAA Division I in 1994.

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).


Women’s Varsity Collegiate Triathlon Programs
NCAA Division I (14)

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.)

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 San Francisco (San Francisco. Calif.)

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

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

Wagner College (Staten Island, N.Y.)


NCAA Division II (15)

American International College (Springfield, Mass.)

Belmont Abbey College (Belmont, N.C.)

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.)

Lake Superior State University (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.)

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

Montana State University Billings (Billings, Mont.)

Newberry College (Newberry, S.C.)

Roberts Wesleyan University (Rochester, N.Y.)

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

Wingate University (Wingate, N.C.)


NCAA Division III (14)

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.)

Greensboro College (Greensboro, N.C.)

Guilford College (Greensboro, N.C.)

Millikin University (Decatur, Ill.)

North Central College (Naperville, Ill.)

Transylvania University (Lexington, Ky.)

Trine University (Angola, Ind.)

Willamette University (Salem, Ore.)


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