Bryn Mawr freshman Nyam Kagwima said she's been fortunate to have Tess Deanehan as a teammate. The two cross country standouts, who often have found themselves alone at the head of the pack this fall, work to push each other.
Yesterday, the two helped push the Mawrtians to an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland championship.
Kagwima won in 20 minutes, 9 seconds, and Deanehan took second, three seconds back, as Bryn Mawr's 37 team points bettered defending champion Notre Dame Prep by 10 at St. Timothy's.
Archbishop Spalding took third (75), Mount de Sales fourth (112) and Catholic fifth (137) in the 11-team field. Park won the B Division with 60 points, with St. Paul's Cori Koch taking individual honors in 20: 46.
Bryn Mawr coach Stacey Nicholson said she wasn't surprised her two best runners finished more than a minute ahead of the field. The surprise was that her next three runners, Ashley Campbell (eighth), Elizabeth Cukor (ninth) and Allison Barker (17th) ran strong enough to secure the team victory.
"I really did not expect that," said Nicholson, who was missing seven of 14 runners with injuries. "They finished 8-9-17, which was really strong. They've been working together really well, but they just did a great job in this race."
It was especially surprising, because Notre Dame Prep had soundly defeated Bryn Mawr in an early dual meet.
"They stepped up big time," said Pirates coach Ed Donnellan, whose team had soundly beaten Bryn Mawr in a dual meet in the season's first week. "It was a very impressive effort. We were expecting one and two, but not eight and nine. They put it all together. They've waited a long time for this."
Kagwima and Deanehan have been consistent all season, normally finishing one-two. Yesterday, however, Deanehan, a senior who three years ago set the St. Timothy's course record of 19: 27, spent the vast majority of the race neck-and-neck with her teammate, pushing her until the final straightaway, where Kagwima broke loose with about 200 yards to go.
"With her up there, she pushes me and makes me go faster when I would otherwise go really slow," said the freshman.
Spalding's Kelly Zuknick took third in 21: 13, Spalding's Utonna Sherrod fourth in 21: 24, and Notre Dame Prep's Sarah Arbaught fifth in 21: 44. Spalding's Grace Wetzel was sixth, Notre Dame Prep's Katie MacNebb and Melissa Donovan took seventh and 10th, respectively.