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.
Photo courtesy of teamusa.org