Speedskater

Heather Richardson

, who switched two years ago from in-line competition to ice, is heading to the Vancouver Olympics Feb. 12-28 in three distance events.

Richardson, 20, locked up her third Olympic spot by topping her personal best and the rest of the competition in the 1,500 meters yesterday during the U.S. Speedskating Championships in Kearns, Utah. Her time of 1 minute, 56.22 seconds was more than two seconds better than her personal best. She was 2.51 seconds faster than any other woman yesterday.

The resident of High Point, N.C., already had locked up spots on the U.S. team for the 500 meters and 1,000.

The U.S. roster for the 1,500 will be Richardson, Jilleanne Rookard, and Jennifer Rodriguez, who is headed to her third Olympics.

Brian Hansen, 19, clinched a spot by taking third in the men's 1,500 meters.

Simon Kuipers and Stefan Groothuis qualified for the 1,500-meter speedskating event after finishing first and second in the Dutch trials in Heerenveen, Netherlands.

In the women's 500 meters, Annette Gerritsen and Margot Boer finished first and second to qualify.

Lindsey Vonn finished 18th despite a bruised left arm, and Austrian Marlies Schild won a World Cup slalom in Lienz, Austria, for her first victory since suffering a broken leg more than a year ago.

Vonn, the overall World Cup champion, crashed during the giant slalom Monday and injured her arm.

Andrej Jerman of Slovenia won the downhill on the Stelvio course in Bormio, Italy. Mario Scheiber of Austria, who crossed the finish line second, was disqualified for irregular ski boots.

COLLEGES: Michigan associate head coach Jerry Dunn has taken an indefinite leave of absence from the men's basketball team to deal with an unspecified family matter.

Illinois basketball player Alex Legion is leaving the team to transfer to another school that has not been identified.

GOLF: Two University of California-Davis economics professors produced research results claiming the Tiger Woods scandal cost shareholders of companies he endorsed between $5 billion and $12 billion.

According to a Reuters report, the professors looked at the 13 trading days following Nov. 27, when the scandal erupted after Woods crashed his car outside his home.

Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia will visit a specialist about a sprained right wrist that has prevented him from swinging a club for several weeks.

John Daly received a sponsor's exemption for the Sony Open in Honolulu Jan. 14-17 at the Waialae Country Club.

HORSE RACING: William S. Farish, owner of Lane's End Farm in Lexington, Ky., won an Eclipse Award of Merit for outstanding achievement in thoroughbred racing.

He was the co-breeder of Seattle Dancer, who sold for a yearling-record price of $13.1 million in 1985.

BOXING: Nobuhiro Ishida of Japan retained his WBA interim super-welterweight title by defeating Oney Valdez of Colombia by unanimous decision in Osaka, Japan.

- Staff and wire reports