The similarities were obvious. Milford Mill's Mike Mamo and Dulaney's Amanda White each scored victories in yesterday's Baltimore County Cross-Country Championships at Oregon Ridge Park.
It was the routes they took to get there that were different.
White came into the race as confident as ever, fresh off a meet-record win at Saturday's prestigious Georgetown Prep Classic. Mamo said he began to doubt his abilities after finishing 10th in that same meet.
"My confidence was kind of low," said Mamo, who got off to a poor start and labored throughout the first half of the race.
Though Mamo still managed to find his way to the front of the pack, he fell off the pace after climbing a steep hill just over a mile into the course.
Said coach Jesse Hannon: "I could tell he was laboring, so I let him know, in my subtle way, that he was not to quit on himself."
That's when the junior took command.
In a 100-yard span along the backstretch, Mamo made up five seconds, going from third to first. From there, he never looked back, and finished in 16:03 -- 17 seconds behind his meet-record time of a year ago, but 10 seconds ahead of second-place Chris Nance of Perry Hall.
In the girls portion that followed, however, the race lasted only a few hundred yards.
White sprinted out of the blocks and never slowed down en route to a 2:28 win over second-place Tishia Botteon of Perry Hall. White's time of 17:06 shattered the meet record and made loneliness her biggest obstacle.
"It's tough to run all alone," she said. "My dad yells at me to help keep me going, but, if I had someone pushing me, I think I could've gone faster."