Just how impressive was Heather Richardson‘s performance this weekend at the 2012 Long Track Speedskating America’s Cup #1/US Single Distance Championships/ World Cup Qualifier? The 23-year-old from High Point, NC won every race, five in total; setting track records in her best two events, the 1,000m and 1,500m.
We took a look back to figure out some of the statistics from this weekend and it’s clear that Richardson’s performance is one of the greatest US National-level skates ever.
- 2 – Number of track records set at the Pettit Center in Milwaukee, WI. Richardson’s 1000m time 1:14.00 was 1.5 seconds faster than the old track record. Her 1500m time of 1:55.26 crushed the old record of 1:57.55.
- 2 – the number of season’s best times (1000m and 1500m) Richardson now owns. These come despite setting the times at a sea-level track. All of the world records are held in either Calgary or Salt Lake City – but both are high-altitude ovals.
- Bronze – Medal that Richardson’s time would have received at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics.
- Gold – Medal that Richardson’s time would have received at every other Olympics.
- ?? – number of years since any American has won all distances at a US Trials. We couldn’t figure it out! We looked at several different resources because it is very likely that this hasn’t happened for at least 7 years, and possibly not since Eric Heiden back in the ’70′s. Here are a few hints though if anyone wants to help sleuth out the truth. Jennifer Rodriguez is a likely candidate for a all-distances sweep during the mid-2000′s. It’s also possible that Bonnie Blair decided to skate a 3km and pulled it off at some point. On the men’s side, of course Heiden has done this before, but any other guys? Maybe Eric Flaim? Let us know if you have any thoughts.