Wagner College Becomes Fourth NCAA Division I School to Add Varsity Women’s Triathlon

By USA Triathlon | Nov. 16, 2017, 11:43 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon today announced that Wagner College in Staten Island, New York, is the 21st school in the nation and fourth at the NCAA Division I level to add women’s triathlon as a varsity sport. The Seahawks will begin their first season of competition in the fall of 2018.

Deemed an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women in 2014, triathlon has a 10-year window to demonstrate sustainability as an NCAA Championship sport option. USA Triathlon is now more than halfway to its goal of recruiting 40 schools by 2024, with six new programs announced in the past five weeks.  

The University of South Dakota, another NCAA Division I school, announced on Tuesday that it would be adding the sport. The two new programs join Arizona State University and East Tennessee State University in offering Division I women’s triathlon.

“On the heels of announcing our 20th varsity women’s triathlon program on Tuesday, we are proud to welcome another Division I team to the family with the Wagner College Seahawks,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “As the first D-I program in the Northeast, Wagner provides another opportunity for young women, both within the region and throughout the U.S., to pursue collegiate triathlon at the highest level.”

Two other schools in New York state — Daemen College in Amherst and St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, both Division II — offer the sport as part of their varsity portfolios.

"We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to establish a women's triathlon program at Wagner," said Wagner Athletic Director Walt Hameline, who attended the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championship earlier this month in Tempe, Arizona. “The athleticism and dedication required to compete in this challenging sport will be a great fit with our athletic department. The addition of women’s triathlon will provide more opportunities for female student-athletes to benefit from competing in intercollegiate athletics, and we thank USA Triathlon for their support in making this a reality.”

Tatum Colitz, Associate Athletic Director & Senior Woman's Administrator (SWA) at Wagner, will spearhead a national search for a full-time coach. Chris Radmonavich, head coach for the Wagner men’s and women’s water polo teams, will serve as the Seahawks’ Director of Triathlon.

“I look forward to this new challenge of directing the women’s triathlon program,” Radmonavich said. “As a triathlete myself, I certainly appreciate and respect the demands of the sport. I’m confident that our new head coach will attract quality female student-athletes who will embrace this program and serve as fine representatives of Wagner College.”

The addition of a women’s triathlon program at Wagner is being 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 NCAA varsity level.

Women’s triathlon is a fall sport, and the varsity season includes three regional qualifiers followed by the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championship. Athletes race over sprint-distance courses covering 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 varsity collegiate women’s triathlon events and programming, contact Jessica Welk at Jessica.welk@usatriathlon.org.

Varsity Collegiate Triathlon Programs as of Nov. 16, 2017:

NCAA Division I 

Arizona State University (Tempe, Ariz.)
East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, Tenn.)
University of South Dakota (Vermillion, S.D.)
Wagner College (Staten Island, N.Y.)

NCAA Division II

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.)
St. Thomas Aquinas College (Sparkill, N.Y.)
Southern Wesleyan University (Central, S.C.)
University of West Alabama (Livingston, Ala.)

NCAA Division III
Centenary College of Louisiana (Shreveport, La.)
Concordia University Wisconsin (Mequon, Wis.)
Marymount University (Arlington, Va.)
Millikin University (Decatur, Ill.)
Milwaukee School of Engineering (Milwaukee, Wis.)
North Central College (Naperville, Ill.)
Transylvania University (Lexington, Ky.)
Trine University (Angola, Ind.)

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 races and connects with nearly 500,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, 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 Committee (USOC).