Belmont Abbey College Launches Men’s & Women’s Triathlon For 2016-17

Belmont Abbey College Launches Men’s & Women’s Triathlon For 2016-17

Belmont Abbey College has announced the addition of Men’s & Women’s Triathlon for the 2016-17 school year, Crusaders Athletic Director Stephen Miss announced today. The programs will be led by current Track and Field and Cross Country coach Nick Radkewich, who was a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team. Cycling coach Kyle Knott will also work with the programs in that discipline.  Triathlon is made up of three athletic disciplines: swim, bike, run.

“We are thrilled to announce formally the addition of Triathlon as a program at Belmont Abbey College and to name Nick Radkewich as our first Head Coach," Miss said.  “Adding Triathlon, which was made possible in part by the USA Triathlon Foundation’s generous approval of our Emerging Sport Grant application, certainly will bolster our continued growth as a department and will further enable us to extend the opportunity that is an Abbey educational experience to those who participate in the sport.  Due to his many impressive accomplishments in Triathlon, among which is representing the USA in the Sydney Olympic Games (2000), we believe Coach Radkewich is the ideal person to lead us as we embark on this journey. Most importantly, as our current Track & Field and Cross Country athletes can attest, Nick is well-equipped to embrace the challenge of facilitating the formation and development of our students into well-rounded, whole persons capable of becoming a blessing to themselves and to others."

Belmont Abbey becomes the 11th NCAA institution, and the sixth in Division II, to sponsor the sport, which is governed by USA Triathlon. The College applied for, and received, the USA Triathlon Women’s Triathlon Emerging Sport Grant that will cover the operating expenses for the women’s program. The Crusaders men’s program will compete as a club team.

The College recieved a three year grant from the USA Triathlon for a total of $70,000 (Year 1: $40,000; Year 2: $20,000; Year 3: $10,000).

NCAA Women’s Triathlon competitions will be a draft-legal event. The Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championship will be a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, and 5 kilometer run with a maximum of 75 athletes in the varsity draft-legal event. Women’s teams must compete in four competitions and a maximum of six. The National Championships does not count towards the total.

Triathlon was approved as an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women at the NCAA Convention in January 2014, receiving overwhelming support from DI, II and III schools. Emerging sports have a 10-year window in which to establish 40 programs. The first-ever Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships were held on Nov. 2, 2014 in Clermont, Florida, and the event returned to Clermont in November 2015 with an at-capacity field. USA Triathlon has led the effort to include triathlon as an NCAA sport since 2010.