In cross country this high school season, there was Dulaney's Amanda White . . . and then everyone else.
She was truly in a league -- or race -- by herself.
A case in point came in the recent 40th Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association Cross Country Championships at Western Maryland College.
White finished the rolling, 3-mile course in 17 minutes, 25 seconds -- a course record, naturally, in a season that included 10 of them in as many races.
Then she waited . . . and waited . . . and waited.
More than a minute passed before Westminster's Stephanie Morningstar -- an exceptional runner in her own right -- approached the finishing chute in second place.
White's winning margin in the Class 4A girls race -- 1 minute, 34 seconds -- was the biggest in memory at the state meet. And her time was easily the fastest in the five years since the girls distance was increased to 3 miles.
Such domination is why White today stands alone as The Baltimore Sun's Runner of the Year.
The state meet completed a perfect season for the talented junior -- who is also nationally ranked in the 1,500 meters and, as a swimmer, is less than a half-second away from the 200-meter breaststroke standard needed to qualify for a spot at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Indianapolis next March.
White, 16, who carries the same driven spirit as her dad, former Colts linebacker Stan White, wasn't satisfied even with running away with the state title.
"I wanted to break 17:00 today," White, who was completing only her second season of cross country competition, said that day. "But the cold really bothered me. I got a little numb."
So did those cross country fans who watched her domination this season.
PICKING THE TEAM:
The Baltimore Sun's All-Metro Cross Country team was chosen by Paul McMullen. Results from championship meets, 14 invitationals and dual meets were weighed in that order.