USA Triathlon announced that Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, North Carolina, is the 33rd school in the nation, and the 14th at the NCAA Division III level, to add women’s triathlon to its varsity sport offerings. The inaugural team will begin competing in the fall of 2020.
The school is the third in Virginia to offer women’s triathlon at the varsity level, joining Hampton University (Hampton, Va., DI) and Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, Va., DIII).
"Mary Baldwin University makes a strong addition to the women’s collegiate triathlon community," said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “The school prioritizes lifelong leadership and personal development in addition to strong academic and athletic programs, resulting in well-rounded student-athletes. We look forward to welcoming Mary Baldwin’s inaugural team to the race course in 2020."
The addition of women’s triathlon as Mary Baldwin’s 16th intercollegiate 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 select NCAA membership institutions to develop, implement and sustain women’s triathlon programs at the varsity level.
“I’m pleased to announce the addition of women’s varsity triathlon to the Department of Athletics,” said Tom Byrnes, MBU Director of Athletics. “The new sport adds to the growth of the department as it increases women’s opportunities, but also helps in the growth of the university. The region stands as a terrific spot for triathlon and I look forward to seeing the program launch next year.”
Mary Baldwin joins 10 other varsity programs located in USA Triathlon’s Mideast Region: Belmont Abbey College (Belmont, N.C., DII); Davis & Elkins College (Elkins, W.V., DII); Eastern Mennonite University; East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, Tenn., DI); Guilford College (Greensboro, N.C., DIII); Hampton University; King University (Bristol, Tenn., DII); Lenoir-Rhyne University (Hickory, N.C., DII); Queens University of Charlotte (Charlotte, N.C., DII); and Transylvania University (Lexington, Ky., DIII).
The NCAA named triathlon an Emerging Sport for Women in 2014, a designation that gives USA Triathlon a 10-year window to demonstrate the sport’s sustainability at the NCAA level by recruiting at least 40 varsity programs. The governing body is now more than three-quarters of the way to that goal with momentum on its side, as 25 schools have added the sport since January of 2017.
Women’s triathlon is a fall sport, and the varsity season includes three regional qualifiers followed by the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships. Races are sprint-distance, featuring a 750-meter open-water swim, draft-legal 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run.
For more information about triathlon as an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women, visit usatriathlon.org/ncaa. For questions regarding women’s collegiate triathlon events and programming, contact Jessica Welk at Jessica.email@example.com.
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.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women’s Varsity Collegiate Triathlon Programs (as of Dec. 19, 2019):
NCAA Division I
Arizona State University (Tempe, Ariz.)
East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, Tenn.)
Hampton University (Hampton, Va.)
University of San Francisco (San Francisco. Calif.)
University of South Dakota (Vermillion, S.D.)
Wagner College (Staten Island, N.Y.)
NCAA Division II
American International College (Springfield, Mass.)
Belmont Abbey College (Belmont, N.C.)
Black Hills State University (Spearfish, S.D.)
Colorado Mesa University (Grand Junction, Colo.)
Daemen College (Amherst, N.Y.)
Davis & Elkins College (Elkins, W.V.)
Drury University (Springfield, Mo.)
Lenoir-Rhyne University (Hickory, N.C.)
King University (Bristol, Tenn.)
Montana State University Billings (Billings, Mont.)
Queens University of Charlotte (Charlotte, N.C.)
St. Thomas Aquinas College (Sparkill, N.Y.)
Southern Wesleyan University (Central, S.C.)
NCAA Division III
Calvin College (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
Central College (Pella, Iowa)
Coe College (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
Concordia University Wisconsin (Mequon, Wis.)
Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, Va.)
Mary Baldwin University (Staunton, Va.)
Guilford College (Greensboro, N.C.)
Millikin University (Decatur, Ill.)
Milwaukee School of Engineering (Milwaukee, Wis.)
North Central College (Naperville, Ill.)
Northern Vermont University-Johnson (Johnson, Vt.)
Transylvania University (Lexington, Ky.)
Trine University (Angola, Ind.)
Willamette University (Salem, Ore.)
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 events 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 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 & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).