STAUNTON, Va. – Mary Baldwin University announced the addition of women's triathlon as its 16th intercollegiate varsity program on Thursday morning.
Mary Baldwin becomes the 33rd institution and the 14th Division III school in the NCAA to add the program. The team will begin competition in fall 2020.
"I'm pleased to announce the addition of women's triathlon to the Department of Athletics," said MBU Director of Athletics Tom Byrnes. "The new sport adds to the growth of the department as it increases women's opportunities, but also helps in the growth of the university. The region stands as a terrific spot for triathlon and I look forward to seeing the program launch next year."
Triathlon was approved as an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women in 2014, a designation that gives USA Triathlon a 10-year window to demonstrate the sport's sustainability at the level by recruiting at least 40 varsity programs. Other Emerging Sports include women's rugby and equestrian.
Women's collegiate triathlon features a 750-meter swim, a 20-kilometer bike ride and a 5K run. It is a fall sport and the varsity season includes three regional qualifiers followed by the Women's Collegiate Triathlon National Championships.
"Mary Baldwin University makes a strong addition to the women's collegiate triathlon community," said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. "The school prioritizes lifelong leadership and personal development in addition to strong academic and athletic programs, resulting in well-rounded student-athletes. We look forward to welcoming Mary Baldwin's inaugural team to the race course in 2020."
In coordination with the addition, Mary Baldwin will receive a three-year grant from the USA Triathlon Foundation to help start the program. 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.
MBU is the only university in the USA South to feature the sport, and will join Eastern Mennonite University, Guilford College and Transylvania University as the only regional DIII programs to add the program. In addition, Mary Baldwin joins Hampton University (Division I) and EMU as the only schools to support women's varsity triathlon in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Following the most recent addition of men's basketball, women's triathlon becomes the 16th intercollegiate athletic program at MBU. The program will serve as the ninth women's sport sponsored by the Department of Athletics joining basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, tennis, indoor/outdoor track & field and volleyball.
To learn more about NCAA Emerging Sports for Women, click here.
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).
Women's Varsity Collegiate Triathlon Programs (as of Dec. 19, 2019):
NCAA Division I
Arizona State University (Tempe, Ariz.)
East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, Tenn.)
Hampton University (Hampton, Va.)
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.)
Lenoir-Rhyne University (Hickory, N.C.)
King University (Bristol, Tenn.)
Montana State University Billings (Billings, Mont.)
Queens University of Charlotte (Charlotte, N.C.)
St. Thomas Aquinas College (Sparkill, N.Y.)
Southern Wesleyan University (Central, S.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.)
Mary Baldwin University (Staunton, Va.)
Guilford College (Greensboro, N.C.)
Millikin University (Decatur, Ill.)
Milwaukee School of Engineering (Milwaukee, Wis.)
North Central College (Naperville, Ill.)
Northern Vermont University-Johnson (Johnson, Vt.)
Transylvania University (Lexington, Ky.)
Trine University (Angola, Ind.)
Willamette University (Salem, Ore.)