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Richardson sweeps U.S. long track championships

Nov 5, 2012, 11:39 AM EST

Douglas C. Pizac-US PRESSWIRE Douglas C. Pizac-US PRESSWIRE

American speedskater Heather Richardson started the season pretty strong by shattering two track records and sweeping all five women’s race at the U.S. Long Track Championships in Milwaukee over the weekend.

And even as she huffed and puffed into an oxygen mask following her 1500m victory at the Pettit National Ice Center the skater said she felt “so good,” but was happy the races were over.

“I’m very happy with how I skated,” Richardson told the Associated Press after the event.

Richardson finished the women’s 1500m in 1:55.26, besting Kristina Groves of Canada’s track mark set in 2007 by more than two seconds. She also broke the 1000m track record and won both 500m titles during the three-day event, and scored a surprise 3000m victory after only skating in the event “to improve my endurance, finish stronger in the last lap of my other races.”

Richardson now gets two weeks off before heading to Heerenveen, Netherlands with Team USA to start the women’s season on Nov. 16. The 2014 podium favorite won seven World Cup races last year.

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