WESTMINISTER — WESTMINSTER -- The anticipated showdown between Amanda White and Stephanie Morningstar wasn't even close at the state track and field championships here yesterday.
White, a sophomore at Dulaney, took the lead from the gun and steadily pulled away to win the 3,200-meter run in the Class 4A portion of the meet, finishing in 10 minutes, 49.3 seconds, the second-fastest time in state meet history and 36 seconds faster than Morningstar, the Westminster High junior.
It was the first of three showdowns between the two distance specialists and a rematch of last weekend's Region I meet, when White stunned Morningstar in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. Morningstar was the defending state champion in all three events.
White, who did not run because of her swimming commitments as a freshman, said beating Morningstar at the regionals was a confidence-builder heading into the state meet.
"Now we both have one under our belts [in the 3,200]," White said, noting that Morningstar finished better than she in that race at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia in late April. "I don't think either one of us knows what to expect."
White built her lead steadily and was more than 11 seconds ahead of Morningstar at the 1,600-meter mark, turning in an impressive 5:15.6 at that point.
Area runners also dominated the Class 3A 3,200 runs, with Pat Rodrigues of Centennial easily winning the boys race ahead of Jason Cox of Lansdowne. In the girls race, Alexandra Clark of Catonsville also won easily, with C. Milton Wright's Stacy Servia taking second.
It marked the second consecutive year that Rodrigues came dTC back to win a state title after missing time with an injury. Last year, he won the 3,200 and 1,600 title a few weeks after arthroscopic knee surgery, and this year he took the 3,200 after recovering from a stress fracture. Rodrigues looks to go for three titles this year, as he's scheduled to run at both 1,600 and 800 Saturday.