Change in routine doesn’t faze Lodice

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Steve Smith

ALAMOSA — From the looks of things, Dakota Ridge’s Skylar Lodice was out for another run through the park on Saturday.

In this case, it was the Colorado High School Coaches Association all-state cross country race at Cole Park in Alamosa.

But it wasn’t the same.

“It was different being able to run with the boys,” she said. “It made me a lot more competitive and helped me finish the race strong, which I really loved. It was so competitive, and I just love the rush.”

The female runners had a four-minute start on the boys competitors. Both groups ran the same flat course.

“Girls can be very competitive, too. But you just hear the boys coming up behind you, and they are chasing you,” Lodice said. “All of a sudden, your heart is racing faster. You just gotta go.”

Lodice ran the vast majority of her race alone.

“Running by yourself doesn’t really give you the push with competitors,” she said. “There is just a long stretch where you don’t have anybody. You’re in no-man’s land, and you’re like, ‘When is this going to end?’ You just have to push yourself. You have to know what pace you have to stay at, and that’s what I tried to do.”

Lodice enjoyed the course.

“Luckily, it was flat,” she said. “I love how beautiful it is up here. It’s so nice to have the scenery; it gives you an extra boost. At least you have something beautiful to look at.”

Next year, she will join the U.S. Naval Academy and plans to walk on the cross country and track teams.

“Any time when you can get out and compete and do your best, it’s way better than training on my own,” she said. “It does help for college. You’re put into a situation where you have to meet all these new people and coaches. You have to adapt to their sorts of coaching and how they run. It also lets you expand and meet new people. It’s a nice way to get a sneak peek.”