Americans Richardson, Bowe qualify for Sochi in 500M speedskating

Heather Richardson won the women’s 500 meters at the U.S. Olympic trials Saturday, claiming the first of what is expected to be three events at the Sochi Olympics.

Richardson is one of the top American medal hopes on the big oval, and she lived up to the hype with a combined time over two races of 1 minute, 14.19 seconds at the Utah Olympic Oval.

Brittany Bowe took second in 1:15.51 despite slipping right off the start in her opening race. The former inline skater and college basketball player kept from falling and easily qualified for her first Olympic team.

Lauren Cholewinski (1:16.18) and Sugar Todd (1:16.42) took the other two expected spots on the U.S. team. Elli Ochowicz was denied a fourth Olympic berth by just 0.12, finishing fifth.