Running cross country apparently has benefited swimmer Amanda White. The Dulaney sophomore, who in her first year of competition ran off with the state Class 4A cross country championship in November, won a couple of breaststroke races last weekend at the East Coast Regionals held at Towson State.
"Amanda swam the 200 [yard breaststroke] three seconds faster than ever before," said Dulaney cross country coach Bob Dean.
White did that without any extended training for the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, for which she long has been a key performer under coach Murray Stephens. In fact, following the state championship cross country meet on Nov. 10, White extended her running season, entering the Kinney Nationals in San Diego. She finished third there and immediately was offered the opportunity for an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii to run there the week after Christmas.
"It really is amazing how many things opened up for Amanda once she won the state championship and did well at the Kinney national meet," said her father, former Baltimore Colts linebacker Stan White. "We had only two days to make a decision on Hawaii and it was just too short a time period to work out the details. Amanda wanted to get back to swimming and, with the holidays, it was just too much to fit it all in."
According to Dean, the story behind White's success at the Kinney Nationals in San Diego was the advice she received from Bob Wheeler, former Dulaney standout, who went on to run at Duke and represented the United States in the 1,500-meter run at Munich in the 1972 Olympics.
"Bobby lives and works out there and came back East on business," said Dean. "I had called him and he stopped off here to speak with us.
"He was familiar with the course and watched a lot of the past races. He impressed on Amanda that half the runners who made it there were satisfied just to be there and about seven or eight would be there to win.
"I think it helped Amanda decide she wanted to go out there to win."
Dean said swimming has been very good for White.
"She's so strong, but more importantly, she has that mental attitude. She has been willing to pay the price to achieve her success."
White will compete next month in another East Coast Regional swim meet at Atlanta.
Although she received a letter from officials at the Millrose Games as a possible invitee to run in the mile run this winter, White will not test her speed indoors.
"Amanda had a mile time of 5:31 last year in gym class," said Dean.
Her leadoff mile at the Kinney Nationals, a 5-K race, was 5:20.
White is planning on showing that speed outdoors for the Lions' track team in the spring.