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  • Daniel Hooker

WCU Track Alum Manteo Mitchell Strikes Gold on the Ice

Western Carolina track & field alum Manteo Mitchell has again struck gold on the international scene. And this time, Mitchell put the competition on ice – literally.

Mitchell, who also claimed international gold back in 2012 at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in the 4x400-meter relay, was a part of the gold-medal winning four-man bobsleigh team at the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Foundation (IBSF) World Push Championships at the icehouse facility located in the Mountain Pass Lodge at Mount Van Hoevenberg near historic Lake Placid, N.Y., over the weekend.

Mitchell was a part of the four-man team including pilot Kristopher Horn, Adrian Adams, and Martin Christofferson. The American foursome posted a combined, three push-start time of 14.55, edging the Swiss four-man team at 14.60 for silver and the Austrian crew, 0.08 seconds back for the bronze. The top teams were tied for the lead after the first of three runs, edging ahead in the second slide down the start of the track. Mitchell and his teammates posted a best time of 4.84, Ice House Facility Record and World Championship Push Record.

The World Push Championship focuses in on the start of the bobsled run. The clock officially starts at the 15-meter mark and records the out time at 60-meters, meaning teams are clocked for total of 45-meters with collective times of the three runs combine for the final tally.

Mitchell rose to fame as a track & field star at WCU where he was a 32-time All-Southern Conference selection on the track between both the indoor and outdoor seasons and a four-time SoCon MVP. Carrying the Purple & Gold colors, he advanced to seven NCAA championship competitions and was a seven-time All-Region selection. He continues to hold the school records in both the men’s indoor (21.23, 2007) and outdoor (20.73, 2009) 200-meter dash, as well as the outdoor 400-meter dash (46.00, 2009). He was also on the benchmark-setting 4x100-meter relay team in 2008 at the NCAA Outdoor East Preliminaries (39.59).

Mitchell burst onto the national scene in 2012 becoming WCU’s first United States Olympian. He furthered his national story in the 2012 Olympic games in London where he was a part of the silver-medal winning 4x400-meter relay team. In the preliminary round, the Shelby, N.C., product suffered a broken leg – but fought through to complete his leg, helping Team USA to the fastest time ever run in the prelims. Mitchell’s courageous story was later listed as one of the favorites of President Barrack Obama to come out of the 2012 games as the Olympians visited the White House.

Mitchell continues to chase his dream of competing for the United States in both the summer and winter Olympic games.

Keep track of everything related to Catamount track & field and WCU Athletics through its social media outlets on Facebook ( and Twitter (@catamounts, @catamountxctf).

United States Olympians in Both Summer & Winter Games

Eddie Eagan – Boxing (1920, 1924) / Bobsled (1932)

Art Longsjo – Cycling (1956) / Speed Skating (1956)

Arnold Uhrlass – Cycling (1960) / Speed Skating (1960)

David Gilman – Canoeing (1976, 1984) / Luge (1976)

Willie Davenport – Athletics (1964, 1968, 1972, 1976) / Bobsleigh (1980)

Connie Carpenter-Phinney – Cycling (1984) / Speed skating (1972)

Connie Paraskevin-Young – Cycling (1988, 1992, 1996) / Speed skating (1984)

Chris Witty – Cycling (2000) / Speed skating (1994, 1998, 2002, 2006)

Lolo Jones – Athletics (2008, 2012) / Bobsleigh (2014)

Lauryn Williams – Athletics (2004, 2008, 2012) / Bobsleigh (2014)

Eddy Alvarez – Baseball (2020) / Short Track Speed Skating (2014)

* Of the above list, only five had medaled at both the summer and winter games.

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