Triathletes Can Now Earn a Full Ride to College

Teenagers who tackle triathlons can now earn a sports scholarship from the NCAA

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Being a teenage triathlete can now earn you some serious college money: A select group of high school students were recently the first to ever receive a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) college scholarship for women's triathlons. (Check out these 11 Talented Young Athletes Dominating the Sports World.)

The NCAA offers grants for a wide range of athletes, including those who bowl and shoot rifles. Adding triathletes to the list has been in the works since tris were voted as an "emerging sport" by the NCAA Legislative Council in January 2014. It's partially thanks to the growing popularity of the triple sporting event among college kids: There are over 160 official USA Triathlon collegiate clubs in schools across the country, and nearly 1,250 collegiate men and women took part in the 2014 USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships last year-more than double the number at the national championships 10 years ago.

Among those awarded is eighteen-year-old Jessica Tomasek, who has been participating in triathlons since she was 13. "I feel extremely blessed to be a part of history for the sport of triathlon," she told Endurance Sportswire. "Having the opportunity to be on a varsity triathlon team in college has been a dream of mine since I became a triathlete, and in the last few months it has finally become a reality. It is very exciting to know that youth triathletes who wish to pursue triathlon at the collegiate level now have more opportunities to do so."

Thinking of trying one yourself? Try SHAPE's 3-Month Triathlon Training Plan.

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