It's called exertional compartment syndrome, or ECS for short. For Dulaney's Tenke Zoltani, it nearly spelled the end.
After missing the entire indoor season and half of this spring while recovering from surgery to the outer portion of both calves, the perennial All-Metro distance standout - now in her seventh week back - officially completed her comeback yesterday by winning a Class 4A state title in the 3,200 at UMBC.
"My doctor said my career was over and I was done running," said Zoltani, who had suffered what doctors called one of the worst possible overuse injuries. "They said I could stop running all together or get surgery."
Now, the junior has greatly scaled back her training, limiting herself to no more than 15 miles a week - virtually unheard of for a competitive distance runner. Even so, her time of 11:13.7 was well over a minute faster than her qualifying time and just a second off her winning time of a year ago.
"It's definitely a miracle," said Zoltani. "God has definitely blessed me."
The combination of Zoltani and junior Christine Myers (11:27.8) gave the Lions a one-two finish and 18 team points in the event, helping them to second place after six events.
Largo leads the Class 4A girls with 28 points, followed by Dulanay (22) and Eleanor Roosevelt (20). Defending champion Long Reach leads the Class 3A girls with 34 points, followed by Walter Johnson (20) and Westlake (16).
Frederick leads the Class 4A boys through seven events, with Dulaney tied for third in 4A with 14 points and Mervo in sixth. In Class 3A, Walter Johnson leads the boys race with 19 points, five ahead of River Hill, which is tied for fourth.
It was also a good day for another area distance standout.
Annapolis' Erin Masterson, who entered the 3,200 with the top seed in Class 3A, held true to form, but not before getting a serious push from River Hill's Lee McDuff.
Masterson and McDuff, alone in front from the early stages of the slowly paced race, ran virtually step for step before Masterson's late kick won out in a 6-second win.
"I just tried to stay relaxed," said Masterson, who won in 11:20.6. "I knew she was right there, but I was lucky she didn't go out really hard and make it more difficult for me."
Defending Class 3A girls champion Long Reach also picked up valuable points in the triple jump, with seniors Shayla Moore (39-4.25) and Rolanda Howard (38-10) finishing one-two, and the 800 relay, as the foursome of Anya Clarke, Angie Watkins, Dionne Lambert and Shante Lambert won in 1:43.5, or .3 of a second ahead of Randallstown.
The Dulaney boys scored a win in the Class 4A 3,200 relay, with the quartet of Emil Bojanov, Andy Carmer, Billy Duffy and Aaron Reuwer crossing the line in 7:57.65, just .16 of a second ahead of second-place Bowie.
It was also a good day for local high jumpers.
Chesapeake's Matt Waranius, coming off a hamstring injury that kept him out of the Anne Arundel County meet, won the Class 3A high jump by clearing 6-6. And Randallstown's Gary Bates, another indoor champion, captured the Class 3A high jump at 6-8, edging River Hill's Evan Prucha by 2 inches.
River Hill won the 3,200 relay in 7:59.9, as anchor man Shane Stroup made up a 10-second deficit by running, unofficially, a 1:51.8 final leg.
Other area winners included Broadneck's Erin Burns (Class 3A discus, 122 feet), who outdistanced defending champion Katie Selby of Westminster by 3 feet, 3 inches.