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College awarded grant to start varsity women’s triathlon program

Warren Wilson College has received a Women’s Triathlon Emerging Sport Grant through USA Triathlon. The grant will allow Warren Wilson to establish a new varsity women’s triathlon program, to begin competing Fall 2024.

Triathlon is an emerging varsity sport across the country. Warren Wilson will become one of only 42  NCAA colleges and universities to offer triathlon as a varsity sport, and one of only 14 NCAA Division III schools. 

“We are excited about this opportunity to provide our students with a unique athletics program to pursue,” said Robin Martin-Davis, the Director of Athletics at Warren Wilson College. “We hope to be on the forefront as women’s triathlon transitions from an emerging NCAA sport to one in which championship-level competitions are offered. We are also excited to further develop and build a minority presence in the sport of triathlon.”

Martin-Davis said women’s triathlon is a perfect fit for Warren Wilson because the school offers some of the best running and biking trails in the nation. The Warren Wilson cycling team won a national championship in 2016 and has had strong finishes at Nationals since then. Both the swimming team and cross country teams have grown in numbers and speed. In addition, Warren Wilson has announced a new track and field team to begin competing in fall 2024.

In women’s collegiate triathlon, student-athletes compete in three distinctly separate athletic activities – 750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run – and combine them into one race that lasts approximately 75 minutes.

“Warren Wilson College Athletics greatly appreciates USA Triathlon’s support, partnership, and commitment to helping us develop a competitive NCAA women’s triathlon program,” Martin-Davis said. “We are eager to provide young women with increased opportunities to excel as student-athletes and grow as leaders in our community.”

Triathlon is not the only emerging varsity sport that Warren Wilson offers. Warren Wilson started a new women’s rugby team in 2023. The school’s other varsity teams include men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, cycling, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, volleyball, women’s rugby, and track and field. Warren Wilson also has active club sports, as well as intramural sports and outdoor programs.