University of Arizona becomes 12th NCAA Division I School to add Varsity Women’s Triathlon

August 22, 2022

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. /SPORTSWIRE WOMEN/ – USA Triathlon, along with University of Arizona Athletics Director Dave Heeke, today announced the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, will become the 12th NCAA Division I program to offer women’s triathlon at the varsity level. A member of the Pac-12 Conference, the University of Arizona will begin competing in fall 2023.

“After a thorough evaluation of our 21-sport model, we are excited to add women’s triathlon as our newest program as we continue to fulfill our Wildcat Way mission of developing academic, athletic and life champions,” Heeke said. “Triathlon is a growing NCAA sport that has tremendous popularity locally in Southern Arizona and nationally throughout the country. Additionally, our community is a marquee training ground for triathlon, which makes this an ideal addition to our department. This announcement comes as we celebrate the milestone anniversary of Title IX, and I look forward to watching Arizona Women’s Triathlon grow as another point of pride for the University of Arizona.”

“The addition of women’s triathlon at the University of Arizona represents a major milestone in the women’s collegiate triathlon movement,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “The state of Arizona is a world-renowned triathlon haven. With access to a variety of trails and roads that offer high-quality, year-round training, the school is sure to attract top student-athletes. USA Triathlon is thrilled to see increased competitive opportunities for student-athletes at the DI level — more opportunities will help drive collegiate triathlon competition to the highest level.”

The commitment by the University of Arizona 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. Now, women’s triathlon 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.

The University of Arizona is the second school to offer women’s collegiate triathlon in Arizona, joining fellow DI and Pac-12 Conference rival Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.

Women’s triathlon is a fall sport, and the varsity season includes two National Qualifiers followed by the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships held in November. The draft-legal 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. 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.

Women’s Varsity Collegiate Triathlon Programs

NCAA Division I (12)
Arizona State University (Tempe, Ariz.)
Delaware State University (Dover, Del.)
Duquesne (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, Tenn.)
Hampton University (Hampton, Va.)
Queens University of Charlotte (Charlotte, N.C.) *formerly DII
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.)
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.)
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.)
Northern Vermont University-Johnson (Johnson, Vt.)
Transylvania University (Lexington, Ky.)
Trine University (Angola, Ind.)
Willamette University (Salem, Ore.)

About the University of Arizona

The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation’s top 50 public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2019 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $734 million in annual research expenditures. The university advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 66 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually.

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).