Nothstein, Hartwell headline track cycling Olympic team

USA's Marty Nothstein is headed to Sydney  Credit: Ross Kinnaird/Allsport
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 7) — Past Olympic medal winners Marty Nothstein (Trexlertown, Pa.) and Erin Hartwell (Indianapolis) headline the U.S. Olympic Track Cycling Team, which has been named by the United States Olympic Committee, USA Cycling announced Friday.

"We believe this will be one of our strongest Olympic track teams," said Sean Petty, USA Cycling director of athlete performance and team leader for the U.S. Cycling Team at the Olympic Games.

Two-time Olympic speed-skating medal winner Chris Witty (Park City, Utah) was named to the women's squad. She becomes the ninth U.S. Olympian ever to compete in both the Winter and Summer Games.

Half of the previous eight competitors were cyclists/speed skaters: Connie Carpenter-Phinney (1972, speed skating; 1984, road cycling), Art Longsjo (1956, road cycling, speed skating), Connie Paraskvein-Young (1988, 1992, 1996 - track cycling; 1980, 1984 - speed skating) and Arnold Uhrlass (1964, track cycling; 1960 - speed skating).

Witty, who won two medals as a speed skater at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, could become the first American woman to medal in both a Winter and Summer Olympics. The only U.S. athlete to achieve the feat was Eddie Eagan, who won gold as a 1920 light-heavyweight boxer and 1932 bobsled pushman.

"We had some tough decisions to make in nominating the track team because we have many outstanding athletes," Petty said. "We believe this group of athletes will represent the United States extremely well in Australia, where track cycling is very popular and the home team is going to be very strong."

Nothstein captured a silver medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta (match sprint), while Hartwell won a bronze in 1992 and silver in 1996 in the kilometer time trial.

A pair of past Olympic team members, Jame Carney (Flagstaff, Ariz.) and Mariano Friedick (Brentwood, Calif.) will be returning to the Olympic games. Overall, there are 10 Olympic track cyclists making their Olympic debuts.

Nothstein has won three world titles and seven medals in world championship competition. In addition, the 19-time national champion won the gold medal in the match sprint, Keirin and Olympic sprint at the 1999 Pan American Games. Two months ago, he also won the match sprint over three-time world champion Florian Rosseau of France at the World Track Cup in Cali, Colombia.

Making the switch from sprinter to endurance track cyclist, Hartwell is only the 10th U.S. cyclist to compete in at least three Olympic Games. Among Hartwells accomplishments are four world championship medals, three Pan Am silver medals and 11 national titles.

James Carney placed ninth in the points race at last years world championships and has posted top-five finishes at a pair of World Cup events in 2000. He has nine national titles to his credit, including three points race crowns. Carney did not advance to the finals of the points race in Barcelona. In the 2000 World Cup rankings, Carney stands third (points race).

Friedick was a member of the sixth-place team pursuit squad at the past Olympiad. He has a pair of world championship medals (1994, silver and 1995, bronze), as well as riding on the Pan American gold medal-winning team pursuit squad.

Witty was an alternate on the 1996 Olympic team and finished fourth in the 500-meter time trial at the 1998 World Track Cycling Championships in Bordeaux, France. She won the national title in the 500-meter time trial in 1996 and 1998. In 2000, she finished second at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track Cycling and owns a pair of top-seven finishes in World Cup competition this year.

Rounding out the mens roster are endurance cyclists Derek Bouchard-Hall (Menlo Park, Calif.), Dylan Casey (Mountain View, Calif.), Tommy Mulkey (Winterville, Ga.) and Christian Vande Velde (Boulder, Colo.), along with sprinters Marcelo Arrue (Woodland Hills, Calif.) and Jonas Carney (Pacifica, Calif.).

The fourth and final mens sprint position remains open and will be named no later than Aug. 1.

Meanwhile, Witty, Tanya Lindenmuth (Trexlertown, Pa.) and Erin Veenstra-Mirabella (Colorado Springs, Colo.) comprise the Olympic womens track cycling squad for the United States.

Agence-France Presse contributed to this report


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