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Good genes and a strong work ethic can take you pretty far.  Los Alamos High School distance runner Lydia Appell is on path to follow in her parents’ footsteps.

“When you have a really good workout and feel empowered and you’re like ‘yeah!’,” said Lydia.

“She has a natural ability right off the bat,” said her dad Brian. “Little by little she’s starting to look more and more like her mom.”

Her mom is former national champ and Olympic runner Olga Appell.  Dad knows a little something about running too.  As a former distance man himself, he’s trained 12 Olympians over the years, but it wasn’t a foregone conclusion his youngest daughter would be a runner.

“I don’t believe in forcing them.  A kid’s gotta do their own thing.  Our oldest daughter, her world was built around running, so she kind of rejected the running phase.  Now recently our whole world has been about restaurants, owning Los Ojos up in Jemez Springs. Our youngest daughter doesn’t want anything to do with that, so luckily she migrated to the running world and she’s got the tools for it and she really has the head for it.  She can buckle down and focus. In the heat of the race, she knows how to bring it.”

Lydia says it’s tough to avoid talk of running with mom and dad at the house.

“Every day, all the time, 24-7,” said the sophomore.  “It’s just like a spew non-stop, I can’t turn the fountain off.”

Advice from mom and dad can sometimes be simple.

“Be strong, and don’t eat as much ice cream.”

Lydia averages about 27 miles a week.  She also has some potential training partners from out of the country that dad is coaching right now.

“Actually, we have two young ladies staying with us right now, the top Mexican juniors in 800 meters, they just got here and they’re staying here for a year with us and they’ll train under me and hopefully be training partners for Lydia and kind of show her what’s possible, to be that young of a person and be the top of her whole country in Mexico.”

Lydia Appell could be the tops in New Mexico in the next couple years.  As a freshman she finished top 5 at the state cross country meet with hopes of even better times this year.

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