DENVER — While many colleges across the nation have considered cutting athletic programs due to the coronavirus pandemic, the University of Denver is heading in the opposite direction.
DU announced Wednesday that it will be adding its 18th intercollegiate varsity sport in women's triathlon. The move was made possible by an emerging sport grant the Division of Athletics and Recreation received from the USA Triathlon Foundation.
Barbara Perkins, who currently serves as an assistant coach on the men's and women's swim teams, has been named the program's first head coach.
"I am extremely excited for women's triathlon to find a new home at the University of Denver," Perkins said in a release. "Triathlon is an emerging sport and is giving young women new opportunities to compete at the collegiate level."
Denver is the 37th institution in the nation to add women's triathlon as a varsity sport, and ninth at the Division I level.
Women's triathlon is a fall sport and races are sprint distance (750-meter swim, 20-kilometer cycling and 5K run). The varsity season will include three regional qualifiers before the national championships.
"The addition of the University of Denver to the women's collegiate triathlon family is groundbreaking for several reasons," USA Triathlon CEO Rocky Harris said in a statement.
"Colorado is one of the nation's thriving triathlon hubs. With DU's prestigious academic reputation, and as the first Division I program in the state to add the sport, the school is sure to attract top student-athletes and become a force on the national stage."
SUGGESTED VIDEOS | Sports