Madeline Dulac knew her plan of getting out fast ahead of the pack at Monday’s IAAM cross country championship Monday was a huge risk, especially with two-time defending champ Elizabeth Tauber from John Carroll ready to pounce if within striking range.
After falling short the last couple of seasons, Dulac, thinking like a riverboat gambler, figured she had nothing to lose in her final IAAM meet. The McDonogh School senior beat the odds, capturing the individual crown at Oregon Ridge Park.
Dulac’s performance helped propelled the Owings Mills schoool to the A Conference championship. Mount de Sales and Glenelg Country School claimed the B and C crowns, respectively.
In one of the most impressive performances in recent finals’ history, Dulac mastered the 3.1-mile Cockeysville course in 18 minutes, 46 seconds besting Catholic freshman Ellie Gonzalez (19:10) with Tauber third (19:28). A year ago, Dulac, just days after recovering from swine flu, finished fourth.
“Having raced against Elizabeth [Tauber] over the past four years, I had to make my move incredibly early which is something I never done before,” said Dulac, who amped up her pace around the halfway point. “This was an interesting experience.
” I know if she’s [Tauber] anywhere near me around the two-mile mark, she’ll start going and she’s incredibly competitive. I needed to break away from the pack early. By the time I got to the half-mile mark, it was a matter of getting through and pushing it to the end.”
McDonogh coach Jeff Sanborn said Dulac’s performance was the culmination of an excellent season for her. He was a little concerned that Dulac, who will attend Bucknell University next fall, would be overanxious.
“I wanted her to hold back, the Spalding girl jumped to the early lead through the quarter, then at a mile, there were three of them and you could tell Madeline was just chomping at the bit,” said Sanborn. “I didn’t want to get the lead too early, but shortly thereafter she got it. Most of the time she starts running and gets relaxed.”
Tauber said she had some “setbacks,” which limited her training regimen the last several weeks, but was pleased with her showing. She tipped her hat to her longtime foe.
“She did an amazing job and has been a really good competitor,” said Tauber. “I’ve had the privilege running against her for four years. She’s really a good runner.”
Jo Baird had another solid performance for McDonogh, placing fourth (19:39) with IND senior Julie Gessler fifth (19:51). McDonogh (56) topped Archbishop Saplding (61) in the A standings.
Jessica Harris was the top B finisher (16th overall) helping Mount de Sales (35 points) to the league crown over Bryn Mawr School (69). Sophomore Hannah Mansbach finished 11th as Glenelg Country (33) finished ahead of Annapolis Area (47).
Mercy senior Amelia Tearman was the recipient of the Jim McCoach “Leader of the Pack” award, given to an IAAM four-year varsity performer who demonstrates a love and commitment to her team and the sport.
CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS COURTESY OF RUNNING MARYLAND