Johnson program, to launch in 2018-19, will be the first NCAA varsity women's triathlon program in New England.
Northern Vermont University - Johnson Director of Athletics and Recreation Jamey Ventura announced the addition of women's triathlon as an NCAA varsity sport for the 2018-19 season, becoming the first school in New England to offer the sport at the varsity level.
The addition of women's triathlon as Johnson's fifteenth varsity sports was made possible through a grant from the USA Triathlon Foundation, which will fund the operating expenses of the program for its first three years. This grant is distributed to selected NCAA membership institutions to develop, implement, grow and sustain varsity women's triathlon programs at the NCAA varsity level. Johnson will be the twenty-second varsity women's triathlon program in the nation, as well as the ninth in Division III.
"The transition to become Northern Vermont University – Johnson will provide more opportunities to our students. Adding triathlon as an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women in fall 2018 is a perfect example of a new opportunity for our students to explore," said Jamey Ventura, Johnson's Director of Athletics and Recreation. "The Green Mountains lend a perfect setting to the sport of triathlon, and our campus facilities, including our SHAPE pool and network of trails, will provide a top-notch atmosphere for training."
"USA Triathlon is proud to welcome Johnson as the newest member of the NCAA triathlon family," said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. "As the first college in New England to offer the sport, Johnson's commitment to taking on new challenges and increasing opportunities for female student-athletes is admirable. We look forward to seeing the Badgers out on the race course this fall."
The NCAA named triathlon an Emerging Sport for Women in 2014. This designation gives programs a 10-year window to show sustainability as an NCAA sport. Each event, including three regional qualifiers and the National Championship, is comprised of sprint-distance races, featuring a 750-meter open water swim, draft-legal 20-kilometer bike and a 5-kilometer run.
A national search for a head coach will begin soon.