Brittany Bowe wins 500 and 1,000, while Shani Davis proves he still owns the 1,000 in long track speedskating
Amy Donaldson, Deseret News
KEARNS — Speedskater Brittany Bowe said her third victory in two days didn’t matter.
But the smile that spread across her face as she said that indicated the wins might mean just a little to the former inline skater who moved to Utah four years ago in hopes of competing in the 2014 Olympics.
The 25-year-old Florida native skated to her second 500-meter win and the 1,000-meter title Saturday at the U.S. long track single distance speedskating championships inside the Utah Olympic Oval. Her 500-meter time of 37.77 seconds was a personal best by more than two seconds.
“I just wanted to come out here and have another strong race, maybe take home the 500-meter title this weekend," Bowe said after doing just that. “I really didn’t think about my PR at all. I was actually focusing on getting better in that opening 100 meters. That’s really all I thought about.”
It helped Bowe that she skated with third-place finisher Lauren Cholewinski (37.99 seconds), who has a quick start.
“She definitely pulled me up to speed in the opening 100, and then I think I pulled her into a good lap,” Bowe said. “Coming into that last turn, I definitely felt her right on my hip. It made me really gun it to the end. It was a PB (personal best) for both of us, so I can’t really complain there. It feels great — just a good start to the year.”
Reigning world sprint champion and Bowe’s good friend, Heather Richardson, was second with a time of 37.86. Richardson skated with Bowe in the 1,000-meter race, which is the favorite event of both women.
Bowe passed Richardson in the final 100 meters to earn the win with a time of 1:14.06. Richardson’s finished in 1:14.28, while Sugar Todd was third with a time of 1:16.99.
“It really doesn’t mean anything,” Bowe said. “Our ultimate goal is obviously Sochi 2014. Definitely a great start to the year. I can’t complain, and I’m very happy.”
Richardson had a painful stomachache before Friday’s 500-meter race, and said she decided to see a doctor when the pain persisted all day.
“I got an ultrasound, and I actually have a cyst on my ovary,” said Richardson, who also finished second in Saturday’s 500-meter race with a time of 37.86. “I felt like a baby thinking it was cramps from my period.”
There is nothing doctors can do for the problem except monitor it and make sure it doesn’t get worse. Despite that, Richardson said she felt better Saturday, thanks to a dose of ibuprofen.
“It’s helped the pain,” she said. “I was able to get some good skating in, some technical skating, and that’s all I was hoping for. I’m excited I was able to finish as well as I did, and I look forward to the race season.”
Bowe and Richardson train together, and both women said their friendship has made them both more competitive in the sport.
“It’s awesome to have a training partner,” said Richardson, who swept these races last season. “We used to train together in inline (skating), but we would only get to train like two weeks out of the year because she lived in Florida and I was in North Carolina.”
Now both women live in Utah, where the headquarters of U.S. Speedskating are located.
“We push each other as hard as possible in our trainings,” Richardson said. “It’s nice to have another leader. She leads me out just as well as me leading her.”
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