Newberry is first SC school to add varsity women’s triathlon

NEWBERRY, S.C. (AP) — Newberry College has announced that they will be adding women's triathlon as a new sport starting next fall, becoming the first school in South Carolina to sponsor the sport, officials said.

On Wednesday, the school said they received a grant from the USA Triathlon Foundation, which would allow the Division II school to add the sport to its roster, The Post and Courier reported. The Board of Trustees approved the addition on Sept. 18.

Newberry is now the 14th Division II school and the first school on any level in the state to have women's triathlon as a varsity sport.

The USA Triathlon Foundation Women’s Emerging Sport Grant is distributed to select NCAA institutions to develop and sustain women’s triathlon programs at the varsity level.

Newberry will join other South Atlantic Conference schools Lenoir-Rhyne, Queens University of Charlotte and Wingate in competing in the women’s triathlon.

Triathlon was approved in January 2014 as the next emerging sport for women in all NCAA divisions. Women's Triathlon is a fall sport that includes an open water 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer cycling, and a 5K run.

“Adding women’s triathlon is exciting news,” said Newberry athletic director Ralph Patterson. “We are thrilled to add a growing women’s sport to our athletic program. We will begin the search for a coach this fall and look forward to having our inaugural women’s triathlon team on campus next fall.”