The 2023-24 athletic calendar will include the inaugural season for the TCU women’s triathlon team, which will compete in up to six events during the fall. The Horned Frogs are currently rostering eight athletes, all of them sophomores, who will each make their collegiate athletic debuts during the triathlon team’s season-opening competition against Drury at the DeGray Lake Triathlon in Caddo Valley, Arkansas on Sunday, Sept. 10.
TCU’s eight sophomores are Jenna Buchanan (Bartlett, Illinois), Kennedy Calcagno (Elmhurst, Illinois), Maria Coral (Bogota, Colombia), Sara Gimena (Ondara, Spain), Monica Lopez (San Luis Potosi, Mexico), Anabella Veltcheva (Gainesville, Florida), Elena Viejo (Madrid, Spain) and Hannah Ye (Leesburg, Virginia). The TCU roster will be captained by head coach Jenny Garrison, who comes from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. Garrison led the Cardinals to three NCAA Division III National Championship victories and five appearances in the USA Triathlon National Collegiate Championships.
TCU’s inaugural women’s triathlon schedule includes the first-ever Battle in the Fort Triathlon on Sunday, Sept. 17 as well as the Last Call Triathlon in Loveland, Colorado on Saturday, Sept. 30 and the Mile High Relays at the University of Denver on Sunday, Oct. 1. The NCAA West Regional will be held in Columbia, Missouri on Saturday, Oct. 14 and any qualifying teams will advance to the NCAA National Championship in Tempe, Arizona on Nov. 11. Triathlon is the 22nd intercollegiate sport and the third women’s sport to be added at TCU over the last 20 years, joining beach volleyball (2015) and equestrian (2006). The Horned Frogs will also be the first Texas school to field a collegiate triathlon team.
According to the USA Triathlon website, NCAA triathlon teams are allowed a maximum of 6.5 Division I scholarships. Teams are also required to field a minimum of three athletes and participate in at least four intercollegiate contests. Standard races will include 750 meters of swimming as well as 20 kilometers of biking and 5 kilometers of running. Up to five athletes per team may compete in the race and the scoring system will be modeled after cross country, with each athlete receiving a finishing place and a score based on her placement. Team scoring will be calculated by totaling the points of the three best finishers.
The team with the lowest number of points after the race will be the winner. Should there be a tie after the final scores have been tabulated, the team with the best fourth-place finisher will be declared the winner. Officially declared an emerging sport by the NCAA in 2014, 42 NCAA schools currently field women’s triathlon programs as of March 2023. TCU’s Intercollegiate Athletics Committee approved adding women’s triathlon in January 2020 and had originally targeted fall 2022 as its inaugural season prior to the COVID pandemic. Garrison was hired as TCU’s head coach in December 2021, with assistant coach Kurt Woodward coming aboard in May 2022. TCU’s inaugural signing class of 10 athletes was announced in June 2022 and all but two athletes are on the current roster.