Collegiate Recruitment Program


About the Program

86% of USA Triathlon’s Olympians (since 2000) have come from NCAA single-sport swimming or running backgrounds.  USA Triathlon’s Collegiate Recruitment Program (CRP) fast tracks the talent transfer of single-sport collegiate athletes to triathlon through recruitment, assessment, mentorship and financial assistance.  The program’s goal is to increase both the quality and quantity of USA Triathlon’s next generation of Olympians.

Founded in 2009 by US Olympian Barb Lindquist (herself a collegiate swimmer turned Olympic triathlete), the CRP searches for either collegiate runners with a swimming background or collegiate swimmers/water polo players with a running background.  We target athletes with a background or proficiency in two of the three disciplines since Olympic Triathlon (1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike, 10-kilometer run) demands world-class proficiency across swimming, biking, and running.  Since both swimming and running involve more technique than cycling, we’ve found that talented athletes can develop their cycling at an accelerated rate. 

The unique challenges of triathlon—an aerobic event which demands focus, grit, determination, and execution while fatigued—can provide a medium for certain athletes to reach higher levels of achievement than they would have achieved in their single sport pursuit.  An athlete’s ceiling in a single sport (one’s size, closing speed, injury history, etc.) could be the foundation to his/her triathlon career.

The program is led by Collegiate Recruitment Program Coordinator Joe Maloy, who successfully made the transition from Boston College swimmer to an Olympic and World Champion triathlete.  Collegiate coaches or athletes who would like more information about this exciting possibility should follow the CRP on Facebook and Instagram (@usat_crp) and e-mail Joe (  You’ll never know unless you give it a shot! 

Follow CRP on Facebook and Twitter

Success of the CRP

Over the nine-year history of the CRP, two recruits have put themselves on the Olympic Team. Gwen Jorgensen grew up as a swimmer, walked onto Wisconsin’s swim team, but found her true collegiate calling her junior year when she switched to running. She made our Olympic Team in 2012 after doing her first triathlon in March of 2010. In the 2014-2015 season, Gwen won a record 13 straight ITU World Triathlon Series races. She qualified for her second Olympic Team in Rio and became the first gold medalist for the USA in the sport of triathlon. Katie (Hursey) Zaferes, Syracuse steeplechaser, also made the 2016 Olympic Team. Katie grew up as a swimmer and began running in high school. She was in the first group of athletes invited to join the CRP Resident Program in 2013. At the end of the 2017 season, Katie was ranked 3rd in the WTS series and moved up to 2nd at the end of 2018.  Just over 5 years removed from her introduction to triathlon, Katie is currently ranked #1 in the world.

In addition to Gwen and Katie, runners Matt McElroy (NAU), Morgan Pearson (Colorado), and Kaleb Van Ort (Notre Dame), Kirsten Kasper (Georgetown), Renée Tomlin (Georgetown), Chelsea Burns (Colgate), Kaitlin (Shiver) Donner (Florida) swimmer/runners Summer (Cook) Rappaport (Villanova) and Erin Dolan (Drury); and swimmer Taylor Spivey (Cal Poly) all have earned spots on USA Triathlon’s National Team.  Could you be next?


High Performance Pipeline

Explore USA Triathlon's High Performance roadmap to stay informed about opportunities, processes and programs available to athletes. Click here to learn more.


The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) oversees and coordinates the Olympic anti-doping program in the United States. As you move through your competitive career from age-grouper to elite to being part of USADA’s Registered Testing Pool, it's important to be aware of the rules and how they apply to you at your current competitive state. The following links will help you navigate safely: