Our View: Ups and Downs - Heather Richardson; HPU basketball; Phoenix basketball

Feb. 01, 2013 @ 01:03 AM

THUMBS UP to High Point native and Olympic speedskater Heather Richardson, who last weekend won the World Sprint Speedskating Championships in Salt Lake City. Richardson, who got her start here participating in inline roller skating events and then switched to the ice, won the 1,000-meter event and also the overall title. Richardson, also an ambassador for the High Point-based North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, was the first U.S. woman to win the Championships since 2005. She’s also considered a speedskating favorite for gold at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. “The Olympics are all I think about,” Richardson told the Enterprise. “These races are preparing me for the Olympic season next year.”

THUMBS UP to the High Point University men’s and women’s basketball teams. The men grabbed a Millis Center victory Wednesday night over the Longwood Lancers. The win moved the Panther men to 5-3 in the Big South Conference and into a first-place tie in the North Division. The Panther women get at THUMBS UP, too. Despite a tough loss last Saturday, the women stand 6-3 in the Big South Conference and are poised for another strong run in conference play. The women resume action at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the Millis Center against Liberty. The men play Presbyterian at 7 p.m., also at home.

Continuing with the sports theme, THUMBS UP to the girls basketball team of New Hope Christian Academy in Thomasville. The Phoenix girls, coached by former Wake Forest University basketball star Delany Rudd, have compiled a 21-1 record so far this season. The school competes as an independent, so the girls log lots of miles traveling to tournaments across the Southeast to which they are invited. They also have their sights set on this season’s 12-team elite division national tournament in which they’ll play Feb. 26-March 1 in Dayton, Tenn.

THUMBS DOWN to five members of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, which voted 5-4 to deny a request by Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes to spend $50,000 in drug forfeiture money to buy seven Segways for school resource officers to use in patrolling their schools. It’s not like Barnes is calling for a tax rate hike to pay for the battery-powered, two-wheeled, personal transportation machines, which officers who use them (at High Point University, for example) say are beneficial in patrolling their assigned areas. Voting no were commissioners Carolyn Coleman, Bruce Davis, Alan Branson, Hank Henning and Bill Bencini. Voting yes were commissioners Ray Trapp, Kay Cashion, Linda Shaw and Jeff Phillips.