Feb. 28, 2006
No hurdler in UW history has accomplished as much as Ashley Lodree. In just over two years, the junior from Richmond, Calif., has set four school records and posted marks among UW's all-time top-10 in 10 different events ranging from the short sprints to the 400-meter hurdles, relays and long jump. In 2005, Lodree became just the sixth UW woman ever to earn multiple All-America awards in one season, placing 10th in the 60-meter hurdles and fifth in the 100-meter hurdles at the NCAA meets indoors and outdoors, respectively. So far this season, Lodree has already won an indoor conference title in the hurdles, set UW records in the 60- and 200-meter dashes, and has clocked a hurdles time of 8.16 seconds that is the nation's eighth-fastest in 2006. GoHuskies.com caught up with Lodree in the days leading up to her MPSF Championships win last Saturday.
GoHuskies.com: You're off to a terrific start this year, with two school records at the Husky Classic, and a top-10 national ranking in the hurdles. How have things felt so far this year?
Ashley Lodree: "It feels pretty good, but I am hoping to move my rankings up. Sixth place is good, but I am shooting to be in the top three. I have been practicing real hard, and working on that, so we will see how that goes. I just have to get my times down."
GH: It seems like every time you step on the track this year, you are breaking a school record. To what do you credit the success you've had this season?
Lodree: "Well, my training. I have to thank God for blessing me with this talent. But actually, when I step out there, and they tell me that I broke a record, that surprises me --especially in the 200, I had no idea that I was going to break that record because I haven't been practicing on that or anything, it just kind of happened that way. So I was excited about that."
GH: You have only run one hurdles race this season, as you've focused on the sprints and relays. Is that a part of your training plan for the hurdles, or are you trying to make the sprints a part of your routine?
Lodree: "Me and my coach kind of had a talk about that, saying that I had to get faster in my sprints. That is going to carry over to the hurdles and get me faster in that, and my times will eventually go down."
GH: People who have watched you throughout your career have said that the most impressive thing about you is that is doesn't look like you are running hard out there-- like you make it look easy. Does it feel easy
Lodree: "That's funny because people always tell me that when I run it doesn't look like I am trying or putting any effort into it, but actually I am putting everything into it. It may not show, but I don't try to make it look easy."
GH: This week's MPSF Championships field is probably going to be your toughest competition that you have faced this season -- does the higher level of competition help motivate you in any way?
Lodree: "I don't really concern myself with the level of competition. I am sure it is going to be real steep, which is good. I am looking forward to it because that is how eventually I am going to progress and get better. But I usually just focus on my race, and myself and what I have to do, because I don't want to be thrown off by what is going on with everyone else."
GH: It seems like this year you have taken on more of a leadership role, especially with the team being pretty young in the sprints and hurdles -- is that a role you have consciously tried to take on, and if so what kind of leader have you tried to be?
Lodree: "Over the past few years, I have been kind of off to myself, but taking on that leadership role has made me grow as a person, so taking on that role it feels pretty good. I am just trying to put the inspiration out there and help others."
GH: "So being one of the leaders, how do you feel the team is doing overall?
Lodree: "I think we are doing well. Because after the first meet, our coach wasn't really happy with the results, so our practice the following week was kind of hard, and it made people react to that. We were like, `OK, we have to step our game up.' So everybody is doing pretty well. We are moving up."
GH: You ran the seven fastest hurdles races in your career in the last seven races last season. Did you wish you could have been able to keep that season going, and keep improving?
Lodree: "Yes, I actually wish I could have kept it going, because I think I would have dropped my times to get to the times that I need to get to. Like at the USA Nationals, I missed making the next round by just one spot, and I said if I had one more race, I would probably would have ran faster."
GH: How big of a boost was it to your confidence to place fifth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, after placing 10th at the NCAA Indoor Championship?
Lodree: "Well, I wasn't too happy with the 10th place indoors. I mean, I was grateful, but I wasn't satisfied or happy with it. But outdoors I felt that it was pretty good, so I knew from that, I could have done better than that. So I kind of look back at that, and figure out the mistakes I made, and just work on those mistakes because that will get me closer to a championship."
GH: What are your goals for the upcoming NCAA Indoor Championships?
Lodree: "You know, the same thing -- just go out there and compete, relax, run with aggression; just the basics. Just run and do what I practiced."