Hampton University to be first HBCU to participate in women’s triathlon at varsity level

HAMPTON, Va. – Beginning in the fall of 2019, Hampton University will introduce Women’s Triathlon as the 19th varsity sport, President Dr. William R. Harvey and Director of Athletics Eugene Marshall, Jr. announced Tuesday.

Atty. Paul C. Harris, Hampton University Sr. Vice-President, Eugene Marshall, Jr., Hampton University Athletic Director, Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO, Dr. Paula L. Jackson, Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance and Student Services/Senior Woman Administrator and Sika Henry, Aspiring Professional Triathlete and member of the Black Triathletes Association celebrate Hampton University establishing Women’s Triathlon (Photo: Hampton University)

HU will be the first historically black college and university (HBCU) to participate in the sport at the varsity level.

The addition of the Hampton women’s triathlon program is made possible through at $225,000 grant from the USA Triathlon Foundation. It was reserved for the first HBCU that added women’s triathlon as a varsity sport.

“This is another example of Hampton University leading the way,” said Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey. “I am proud of the Department of Athletics team that made the Hampton University Women’s Triathlon program a reality.”

The NCAA named triathlon as an Emerging Sport for Women in 2014. The designation gives programs a 10-year window to demonstrate sustainability as an NCAA sport.

The varsity season, composed of three regional qualifiers and the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championship, features sprint-distance races covering a 750-meter open water swim, a draft-legal 20-kilometer bike and a 5-kilometer run.

Hampton will become the sixth NCAA Division I and 26th NCAA school to sponsor triathlon. Once a coach is on board, the university will be recruiting student-athletes, acquire the needed equipment for the program and begin formalizing partnerships in the community necessary to begin a varsity women’s triathlon program.

Click here to read the full announcement.