JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (November 29, 2017) -- The ETSU triathlon team is going to have some company.
USA Triathlon has announced that the University of South Dakota (Vermillion, S.D.) and Wagner College (Staten Island, N.Y.) have become the third and fourth NCAA Division I schools to add women's triathlon as a varsity sport.
The Coyotes and Seahawks will begin competition in the fall of 2018, joining ETSU and Arizona State University as Division I programs.
The NCAA designated triathlon as an “Emerging Sport for Women” in 2014. The governing body mandated that 40 schools must offer triathlon by 2024 for it to become sustainable as an NCAA Championship sport.
“The addition of the two new Division I schools for the 2018 Fall season is very exciting,” said ETSU head coach Janine Pleasant. “They bring us closer to the minimum number of schools required to convert from an emerging sport to a NCAA Championship sport, and increase the number of teams ETSU can compete on an even footing with.”
This fall, a total of six schools have announced they’ll be offering triathlon, raising the total to 21 programs over all three NCAA divisions. Besides the four in Division I, nine are in Division II and eight in Division III.
“Right now, there are more Division II schools in triathlon than Division I or III,” Pleasant said. “We’re still a long way from the 40 schools required to have a Division I championship, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.”
Triathlon is a fall sport, with a schedule that includes three regional qualifying meets and culminates with the National Championship in early November. USA Triathlon is currently the sport’s governing body.
For more information on ETSU’s women’s Triathlon, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the Triathlon link