Notre Dame Prep showed just how far a program could come in four years as it held off league nemesis Mount de Sales and captured the team title at yesterday's Association of Independent Schools Cross Country Championships at St. Timothy's School in Stevenson.
"We started this team from scratch four years ago, and I can still remember going 0-10 and finishing in last place," said NDP coach Ed Donnellan. "But we promoted the sport, made it visible to the students and now we've won a championship.
"I never thought we would win it this soon, but we have a lot of depth and the girls ran in a nice tight pack today."
The Pirates placed seven of their runners in the top 20. However, none of them threatened to defeat McDonogh sophomore Jenny Scott.
Scott successfully defended her AIS individual championship and kept alive her hopes of winning four straight titles by covering the 2.5-mile course in a record time of 16 minutes, 24 seconds.
"At first, I thought they were going to postpone the meet because of the storm, and I was hoping they would because I knew the course would be wet and I was really hoping to beat my time from last year," said Scott, who won the event as a freshman in 16:34. "As it turns out, I'm glad they didn't postpone it because the course was in good shape and I felt great."
Scott led by 27 seconds at the midway point and never looked back.
Kelly Sloan of Roland Park was the runner-up in 17:04, followed by Garrison Forest's Anna Goetze in third in 17:08 and Teresa Love of defending meet champion Mount de Sales (17:09).
Carrie Kroll was Notre Dame Prep's highest finisher, as she took fifth in 17:13. Freshmen Katie Baird and Heather Ward finished 10th and 11th, respectively, for the Pirates and teammates Robin Brand, Meredith Brand and Nora Bambrick finished 14-15-16, respectively.
Rounding out NDP's champion squad was top 20 finisher Kristen Kavanagh.