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Two National Championship Wins and a Record for Heather Richardson

timv's picture

Heather Richardson won national titles in championship sprint races at both 500 and 1000 meters Monday. The News & Record doesn't have a proper sports section anymore, or not on Tuesdays at least, but Heather's double speedskating victory is the top story on the first page of today's sports coverage:

The 21-year-old Olympian from High Point continued her astonishing breakout season Monday at the U.S. Speedskating Championships at the Utah Olympic Oval, winning both the 500 and 1,000 meters in the fastest times in the world this season -- her time of 37.58 seconds in the 500 also shattered the American record -- despite nursing a painful back injury.

The newpaper story has details of which disk of hers slipped out and how it's being treated. If she can keep that under control, the 2010 Winter Olympian looks poised to have quite a season for herself.


eebee's picture

Triad Athletes

Is there something in the water in the Triad area? It keeps churning out top-notch athletes. 

I sympathize with Heather's back injury as I have a weakness in the same area. Although mine is from being slumped on the couch for two weeks. But I am wondering if Heather changed up her technique any because of her back injury, and posted better times because of it? I.e. Did she focus more on smooth, controlled movement than usual? I'd like to ask her! I can't imagine having to skate through that kind of pain. 

roadskater's picture

Coaching in the Water and On Target and Fast Ice

I think the Triad has a strong indoor inline speed skating tradition and has had some good coaching. Perhaps it's less uncool to speed skate here in the mid-Atlantic than in some places, but I'm not sure. I know High Point Speed has been strong for over a decade, but also Greensboro's Skateland has hosted some strong teams. They've moved some training to the outdoors I believe, on larger flat tracks than you get indoors. That may help. Plus, who you know is important, and I think the inline to ice program connections are strong here, especially with a former Olympian having roots here. 

She was on track for these wins with previous first place finishes in the World Cup series, and I believe the ice in Salt Lake City is considered to be pretty fast (haven't checked that, but Davis had some season bests there this year, I think. He did well in the Monday sprints, winning the 1000, I think, and taking 3rd in the 500. I'll check on that later. They skate(d) sprint distances again today as well I think. Davis and Richardson look really strong right now as the World Championships are near. Some of the other USA team members are looking good, too. More later!

timv's picture

Not Actually National Titles?

I see that 500 and 1000 meter women's races were held today (Tuesday) as well, and that saw Rebekah Bradford won both of those races to claim the national sprint title while Heather sat out to rest her back. I haven't tried to figure out how that all worked, but re-reading the N&R article it never actually says the races she won Monday were for national titles.

I'll edit my original post if that's right.

roadskater's picture

What I Think About How It Works

It looks like for the Allround it's: 

  • 500m/3000m then the next competition day 1500m/5000m for females and
  • 500m/5000m then the next competition day 1500m/10000m for males

Then for the Allround Sprint Championship they run two separate, additional 500m and 1000m races, one of each gender per day. Here's the document for last weekend's races:


Thursday, December 30

  • 500m Ladies (Allround)                
  • 500m Men (Allround)                
  • 3000m Ladies                
  • 5000m Men

Friday, December 31

  • 1500m Ladies                
  • 1500m Men                
  • 5000m Ladies                
  • 10,000m Men

Monday, January 3

  • 500m(1) Ladies                
  • 500m(1) Men                
  • 1000m(1) Ladies                
  • 1000m(1) Men

Tuesday, January 4

  • 500m(2) Ladies                
  • 500m(2) Men                
  • 1000m(2) Ladies                
  • 1000m(2) Men 

Here's a document containing the International Skating Union's Special Regulations and Technical Rules, Speed Skating and Short Track Speed Skating:


roadskater's picture

Go Shani Davis! US Speed Skating Sprint Championships Results

Here's a sort of wrap-up, but it's incomplete...


There are other useful links there...



We have some strong contenders right now. The World Championships should be interesting.

roadskater's picture

Some Thoughts from the Weekend on the USA Speed Skating Team

I get fewer than five takeaways maybe, but this is an OK review. It leaves out some things for politeness perhaps, with regard to the women's results, but that Shani Davis is dominant seems true. It seems clear that among the men we have some good talent but no clear 2nd and 3rd. Seems OK to me. Also expect more inline to ice and more short track to long. Interesting that the short track crossover placed higher in the longer distance if I got it right. I'll leave the rest to encourage you to visit the writer's work on the publisher's page. 


We need Universal Sports in Triad NC! Come on, WXII, surely some more ad revenue would be nice!?

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