Trine University is launching an athletic program that can only be found on a little more than a dozen U.S. college campuses. The new women’s triathlon team is set to start this fall and will be the first of its kind in Indiana. Danny Powell will coach the team and is a professor in the Ketner School of Business. During an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Powell said the sport that combines swimming, biking and running fits the mission of the Angola-based university.

He says it "serves our purpose" at Trine, which has the motto "achieve, lead, and serve." Powell says he can’t think of a sport that changes the lives of athletes more.

Nationally, over one million triathletes participate in the sport and fewer than 10 percent are under the age of 25, which could narrow the pool of potential athletes. Powell believes recruits won’t necessarily come from the sports associated with triathlon’s disciplines. "The best triathlete today might be on the debate team, they might be playing soccer, they might be a volleyball player," Powell said.

Triathlon first became recognized as an Olympic sport in 2000, and at the time, Powell says there were only 127 participants throughout the country. Even with rapid growth in recent years, women’s triathlon is still not recognized as a championship-level sport by the NCAA, and can’t be until at least 40 teams field a program.

Trine’s team will be built with support that includes USA Triathlon and the school’s athletes will compete in five regular-season races. A regional championship will follow, then a national qualifier. Eligible teams will compete in a national championship event.

You can connect to more about the team by clicking here.

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