In midst rampant national athletics cuts, DU announces addition of women’s triathlon

With a grant from USA Triathlon, DU is adding a 18th sport, women’s Triathlon.

Triathlon was added to the list of NCAA emerging sports for women at the 2014 NCAA Convention and the USA Triathlon established grants aimed at sponsoring the sport at the collegiate level. The ’emerging sports program’ was created to help schools provide more participation for female athletes – the sport has a 10-year window in which to establish 40 schools sponsoring the sport before it can become an official NCAA championship.

With DU, there are nine Division I women’s programs and 37 total triathlon teams at all NCAA levels (I, II, III). Teams are usually comprised of 9 athletes with a cap of 4.5 athletic scholarships. Once 40 varsity triathlon teams are achieved, the NCAA will cover the cost of triathlon national championships at Division I, II, and III levels. Also, the NCAA championship target of 40 total teams will bring triathlon legitimacy and promote the popular recreational sport which incorporates swimming, biking and running.

The move will also satisfy Title IX requirements which require scholarship balance commensurate with the student body male/female ratio at the University of Denver.

Triathlon hopes to follow the recent success of sand volleyball, which progressed through the emerging sports program and became the NCAA’s 90th championship sport in 2016.

“On behalf of the University of Denver, we are excited to add the sport of women’s triathlon to our fall lineup,” Creech said in a DU release. “The USA Triathlon Foundation Grant, and grants like it, provide excellent opportunities for colleges and universities to sponsor emerging women’s sports across the country. This addition will help us attract new students from across the country as our coursework, our campus, and the Rocky Mountain backdrop provide future Denver triathletes with the opportunity to pursue success at the highest level in the classroom and in competition.”

USA Triathlon CEO Rob Urbach hopes his sport will have a similar destination. “This exceptional funding opportunity from the USA Triathlon Foundation helps to support our campaign to make triathlon an NCAA championship sport,” he said in USA Triathlon’s release.

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4 thoughts on “In midst rampant national athletics cuts, DU announces addition of women’s triathlon”

  1. Seems like a very weird time to be adding a sport when athletic departments are getting slashed and people are losing their jobs.

    That said, DU is in a perfect recruiting and operational spot for Triathlon, and DU should be a national power in short order. Also glad that DU got a grant to cover the initial costs which are very minor. Only 4.5 scholarships and nine athletes to add. DU’s current competition is Arizona State, Delaware State, East Tennessee State, Hampton, TCU, San Francisco, South Dakota and Wagner. That’s it – nine schools. ASU is the four-time defending champ, but not everyone wants to go to school in hot Phoenix with 70,000 fellow students. Delaware State and Hampton are HBCUs who all face long term funding issues. TCU and USF is also similar to DU, but they do not have the mountain advantages of Denver. South Dakota is is nice state school set a tiny rural town, and Wagner has only 2,000 students. I like our chances.

    With the meets held off campus, I doubt many will want to watch it. DU once had varsity cross-country running for a few years in the late 90s/early 2000s as DU was becoming full D-I, and I think the Pios used the CC scholarships to bring in more skiers.

  2. Dunker loves it. Virtually no costs. Girls from the Alpine Club could probably win a national championship year 1. One question. To be a truly recognized NCAA sport, do you need 40 D1 schools or are 1,2, and 3 combined?

  3. According to the release, 40 total NCAA programs to include the sum of all divisions. They likely will hold nationals at the same time with all three NCAA divisions in the same event with winners awarded at each level.

  4. I think it is like skiing, where schools from all 3 divisions compete at the same National Championships.

    I love this move! I think it will be a fairly low cost sport to operate, and with the right mix of sponsorships and donor funds will be virtually break-even for DU’s financials.

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