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Newberry College in South Carolina Adds Women's Triathlon as Varsity Sport

By USA Triathlon | Sept. 23, 2020, 8 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon, along with Newberry College Director of Athletics Ralph Patterson, today announced that Newberry College in Newberry, South Carolina, will add women’s triathlon to its varsity sport offerings. The school is the 14th at the NCAA Division II level, and the only school in South Carolina, to sponsor the sport. The inaugural team will begin competition in the fall 2020 season.

"Adding women's triathlon is exciting news," Patterson said. "We are thrilled to add a growing women's sport to our athletic program. We will begin the search for a coach this fall and look forward to having our inaugural women's triathlon team on campus next fall."

“USA Triathlon is proud to bring Newberry College onboard as our newest women’s NCAA program. We applaud the school’s commitment to this emerging sport during a challenging time for collegiate athletics,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “Newberry’s prestigious academic reputation is sure to attract dedicated student-athletes who will bring their best both on and off the race course."

Newberry College President Dr. Maurice Scherrens said, "This is a great opportunity for us to add another quality athletic program, and I have no doubt that women's triathlon will help us attract outstanding women student-athletes."

The addition of women’s triathlon as an intercollegiate varsity sport at Newberry is 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 varsity level.

Newberry will benefit from competitive opportunities with fellow South Atlantic Conference schools Lenoir-Rhyne University (Hickory, N.C., DII), Queens University of Charlotte (Charlotte, N.C., DII) and Wingate University (Wingate, N.C., DII). Nearby Belmont Abbey College (Belmont, N.C., DII) and Guilford College (Greensboro, N.C., DIII) also sponsor the sport.

The NCAA named triathlon an Emerging Sport for Women in 2014, a designation that gives USA Triathlon a 10-year window to demonstrate the sport’s sustainability at the NCAA level by recruiting at least 40 varsity programs. The governing body is quickly approaching that goal with momentum on its side, as 28 schools have added the sport since January of 2017, and 35 schools have done so since 2014.

Women’s triathlon is a fall sport, and the varsity season includes three regional qualifiers followed by the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships. 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 (as of Sept. 23, 2020): 

NCAA Division I 

Arizona State University (Tempe, Ariz.) 
Delaware State University (Dover, Del.)
East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, Tenn.) 
Hampton University (Hampton, Va.) 
Texas Christian University (Fort Worth, Texas)
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 
American International College (Springfield, Mass.)
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.) 
King University (Bristol, Tenn.) 
Lenoir-Rhyne University (Hickory, N.C.)
Montana State University Billings (Billings, Mont.) 
Newberry College (Newberry, S.C.)
Queens University of Charlotte (Charlotte, N.C.) 
St. Thomas Aquinas College (Sparkill, N.Y.) 
Wingate University (Wingate, N.C.)

NCAA Division III 

Calvin College (Grand Rapids, Mich.) 
Central College (Pella, Iowa)
Coe College (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
Concordia University Wisconsin (Mequon, Wis.) 
Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, Va.)
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 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 events 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 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 & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).