Clermont, Florida, to Host USA Triathlon Collegiate Championship
14 Oct, 2015
The second Women's Collegiate Triathlon National Championships will take place next month in Clermont, Florida, as part of triathlon's bid to elevate from NCAA Emerging Sport for Women status to a full-fledged championship sport.
Scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 7, in Lake Louisa State Park, the event will be contested over a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run course. The draft-legal competition structure and rules used in the Nov. 7 event are the same standards that will be used at the collegiate level when triathlon is granted official NCAA sport status.
Currently 70 women are on the start list for the event, nearly triple the number of participants in the inaugural event held on the same course last November. Athletes earned their spots to compete in Clermont based on individual and team finishes at two regional qualifiers. The top-five finishers at the Women's Collegiate Triathlon Regional Qualifiers in the West and Central regions punched their tickets to Clermont, as well as the top teams based on scoring at each event. Invitations were extended to women registered for the East qualifier (canceled due to weather) as well as top performers from USA Triathlon Collegiate Club Nationals and Junior Elite Nationals held earlier this year.
Five schools with varsity triathlon programs are among the schools represented: Black Hills State University, Daemen College, Marymount University, Queens University of Charlotte and the University of West Alabama. Four of these schools - Black Hills State, Daemen, Queens and UWA - were among the 10 institutions that received funding this year as part of the three-year USA Triathlon Women's Triathlon Emerging Sport Grant. The grant helps institutions establish and sustain varsity women's triathlon programs, with a total of $2.6 million to be awarded to eligible institutions. More on the NCAA Emerging Sport Grant is available at usatriathlon.org.
Club teams represented on the start list for the Nov. 7 event include Stanford University, Texas A&M University, UCLA, University of California - Berkeley, University of Colorado, University of Missouri and U.S. Naval Academy.
Triathlon received overwhelming approval from Division I, II and III colleges and universities at the 2014 NCAA Convention to be included as an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women, and has a 10-year window to demonstrate sustainability as an NCAA sport option. For more information on triathlon as an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women, visit usatriathlon.org/ncaa.
In addition to the Women's Collegiate Triathlon National Championships, Lake Louisa State Park will also host three other multisport races during the weekend, emphasizing the potential for community participation at collegiate events. The events include USA Triathlon Draft-Legal World Championships Qualifiers for triathlon and duathlon, which will follow the draft-legal format and will allow top U.S. amateur multisport athletes to represent their country at select 2016 ITU World Championship events.
The Triathlon Draft-Legal Qualifier will be held on Nov. 7 following the women's event, and top athletes will earn a spot for the 2016 ITU Sprint Triathlon World Championships in Cozumel, Mexico. The Duathlon Draft-Legal Qualifier will take place on Nov. 8, and top run-bike-run athletes may earn a spot for the 2016 ITU Sprint Duathlon Worlds, set to take place in Aviles, Spain. Athletes may compete in both events over the weekend if they so choose.
For both the triathlon and duathlon qualifiers, the top-10 finishers in each age group can secure spots on Team USA for the 2016 ITU World Championships in their respective disciplines, provided they finish within 30 percent of the age-group winner's time. Roll down spots will not be awarded; only those in the top 10 and within 30 percent of the age-group winner's time will be considered for Team USA.
For more on the weekend's events, including a complete schedule, visit clermonttri.com (Women's Collegiate Triathlon Nationals and Duathlon Draft-Legal Qualifier) or sommorsports.com (Triathlon Draft-Legal Qualifier).
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 and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with nearly 500,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).