Elli Ochowicz of Palo Alto missed qualifying for fourth Winter Olympics by 0.12 of a second Saturday while finishing fifth in the women's 500-meters at the U.S. trials for speedskating in Kearns, Utah.
A slow first heat put Ochowicz, 30, into a big hole. Not even a season-best 38.1 seconds in the second of two heats was enough to overcome fourth-place Sugar Todd.
"I'm so proud of Sugar Todd," Ochowicz told reporters. "She's a first-time Olympian, and I know what that feeling is like and how happy she is."
Heather Richardson of High Point, N.C., won the competition, her first of what is expected to be three events in Sochi, Russia. Brittany Bowe, a former inline skater and Florida Atlantic basketball player, was second, followed by Lauren Cholewinski and Sugar Todd.
Ochowicz, the daughter of three-time 1976 Olympic speedskating medalist Sheila Young, still can qualify in the 1,000 meters Sunday. She made a gallant effort in the final 100 meters Saturday to just miss her personal best.
Her brother Alex Ochowicz, who attended Palo Alto High before pursuing hockey in Wisconsin, finished seventh in the men's 5,000 meters Friday night as he tries to make his first Olympics team.
The skaters' father, Jim Ochowicz, is a 1972 Olympian in track cycling who now manages the BMC Pro cycling team based in Santa Rosa.
Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865 and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.