(L): Mandy Marquardt and Katie Uhlaender pose with their gold medals at the 2018 USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships on Aug. 6, 2018 in Carson, Calif. (R): Katie Uhlaender competes at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on Feb. 17, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Katie Uhlaender made her name as a four-time Olympian in skeleton, but her skills on a track aren’t limited to sliding.
Uhlaender, 34, is back on the track cycling circuit, and on Monday night she partnered with Mandy Marquardt, a 2016 Pan American Championships bronze medalist, to win the women’s team sprint at the 2018 USA Cycling Elite Track National Championships in Carson, California. The win comes five months after Uhlaender won her fifth national title in skeleton.
In round one in Carson, Uhlaender and Marquardt, racing under the team name Sprinter’s Edge, posted a speed of 50.390 km/hour and finished in 35.721 seconds. Just behind them was the Colorado team, consisting of Heather Gray and Madalyn Godby, with a time of 35.955 seconds, followed by BVV (Sarah Fader and Dana Feiss) in 36.117 seconds.
The three teams finished in the same position as they did in qualifying, with Sprinter’s Edge leading the way with a time of 35.556.
They did even better in the final round with a winning time of 35.526 in the final, just ahead of Gray and Godby (35.860) and Fader and Feiss (37.489)
Marquardt also placed second in the women’s individual sprint on Sunday.
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Uhlaender posted a photo of her and Marquardt all smiles and showing off their gold medals with the caption “We won!” to her Twitter account Monday night. Marquardt also posted a photo to her Twitter, saying, “We did it! Team Sprint National Champions! Training with Katie the last 2 months has been an absolute blast! So much respect and love for this girl.”
Uhlaender became the first athlete to compete in skeleton in four Olympics when she slid to a 13th-place finish at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 in February. She just missed getting a bronze medal in Sochi in 2014, finishing fourth. She was sixth at her Olympic debut in Torino in 2006 and 11th in Vancouver in 2010. Uhlaender hasn’t ruled out vying for a fifth Games in 2022.
This is Uhlaender’s second stint competing nationally in track cycling. She took up the sport in 2015, also focusing on team sprint, as she recovered from back-to-back surgeries she underwent post-Sochi on her hip and ankle. That year she was fifth at nationals with McKenzie Browne.
“I think it’s a perfect sport for me,” she told TeamUSA.org at the time. “It’s no impact, and I have a ton of power. Just figuring out where to put that power to use is kind of cool.”
Uhlaender has also competed in weightlifting, including at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
Team sprint made its Olympic debut in 2012 but the U.S. has not yet qualified a team for Olympic competition.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.