Imagine a NASCAR track, but the banking is at a 45-degree angle and beyond. And instead of cars, imagine bicycles without brakes racing around that track. The track is a velodrome, and the sport is track cycling. It’s fast, furious and Kate Wilson is one of the best at it.
Kate Wilson, a senior at Summit View School, is a nationally-recognized track cyclist. She is a member of the Connie Cycling Junior Racing Team, based at the L.A. Velodrome at the Home Depot Center in Carson. Coached by Olympian Connie Paraskevin, Kate started in 2006 and has medaled more than a few times. Most recently, Kate, along with a teammate, won the gold medal in the Women’s Madison Event at USA Cycling’s 2011 Elite Track Championship. Kate also competed in the Junior Track Nationals in Texas and was one of the 16 cyclists who represented the United States at the Junior World Track Championships in Moscow. In addition to track cycling, Kate also competes in road racing. She is on the NOW and Novartis for MS Development Team. She also competes in biathlon, a sport that combines cross-country skiing and shooting. This last winter, Kate placed first in her division at the Mammoth Biathlon. And before cycling and biathlon, Kate played soccer for a club and for her high school.
All these sports and school! But perhaps athleticism is in her genes. Kate’s mom, Jan Palchikoff, is an Olympian in rowing. Her father, Dr. Wayne Wilson, is a renowned sports historian and is the Vice President of Education Services at the LA84 Foundation, a private foundation established with part of the surplus from the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Dr. Wilson also competed and placed in the side horse event at his state’s high school gymnastics championship. When I ran into their family at Mammoth last winter, I ended up on a cross-country skiing adventure. Their love for sport is quite contagious.
If you see Kate and her family in the neighborhood, my advice to you is to start stretching. Because before you know it, you’ll find yourself participating in some kind of really, really fast sport.