High Point’s Richardson sets U.S. record
High Point speedskater Heather Richardson enjoyed a double dose of record-breaking success in the 500 meters on Friday at the U.S. National Long Track Championships.
Richardson, a High Point Central graduate who currently resides in Salt Lake City, clocked a U.S.-record 37.51 in the first 500-meter race on the Utah Olympic Oval. She bettered that mark with a time of 37.34, the fastest 500 mark in the world this year, in the second race.
“When I did the 37.5, I said, ‘OK, that was pretty good,’ and I wanted to try and beat it so I’m really glad that I did,” Richardson said. “It’s really exciting. To be able to podium in the 500 is really impressive for me because my start is nowhere near as close to the other girls and it’s something I really want to work on.”
Richardson competes in the 1,000 meters today.
Men and women competed in two 500s, with winners determined by adding their times.
Behind Richardson and her time of 74.850 was Brittany Bowe at 76.370 and Lauren Cholewinski at 77.040.
Richardson’s resume includes the 2011 overall World Cup championship at 1,000 meters. At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Richardson placed sixth in the 500, ninth in the 1,000 and 16th in the 1,500.
Richardson is a 13-time World Cup 1000m medalist (six gold, six silver, one bronze) and a nine-time World Cup 500m medalist.
In the men’s 500m races Friday, Mitch Whitmore took first with a combined time of 70.510. Tucker Fredricks placed second in 70.700. Clay Cholewinski notched third in 71.170, making it a bronze-medal day for the Cholewinski siblings.