Amanda White of Dulaney High School said she thought nothing could top her win at last week's Kinney National Cross Country Championships in California.
Thursday, however, the senior went one better.
White, The Baltimore Sun's 1992 Female Athlete of the Year, was named a winner of the Dial Award, given annually to the top male and female high school athletes in the nation.
White, 17, was chosen from an original list of more than 100 nominations, which was narrowed to five finalists and voted on by a committee of more than 500 sportswriters, school administrators and Olympic Federation officials.
"I was shocked," said White. "My dad [former Baltimore Colt Stan White, now a local radio talk show host] is usually pretty straight with me, and he thought it would be another girl.
"What makes this really special is that it involves swimming, running and academics."
White learned of the award after returning home from swim practice with the North Baltimore Aquatic Club on Thursday night. A company representative had called earlier but said she couldn't tell her parents who the winner was.
"My dad answered," said White, "but they wouldn't tell him who won. They said they had to talk to me."
She only learned of her selection later that night after returning the call.
Past award winners include Herschel Walker, Carol Lewis, Todd Marinovich, Cheryl Miller, Jeff George, Bill Fralic, Lisa Leslie and Vicki Goetze.
Company spokeswoman Nancy Dedera said many past winners have used the award as a springboard.
"Some of them have told us that it's the award that spurs them on," said Dedera. "They are more excited about this award then any other because of the academics."
In addition to her achievements in running and swimming, White holds a 4.0 grade-point average, is a member of the National Honor Scoiety and is ranked No. 1 academically in her class of 377.
Her father learned about the award after reading about last year's presentation in USA Today. He purchased a bar of soap just to find the company's phone number. White's coach at Dulaney, Bob Dean, nominated his star athlete in early fall.
"I started getting a really good feeling after the lady [from Dial] called me and we talked about Amanda for a half an hour," said Dean. "I'm just real proud to be associated with her. She certainly deserves it."
Dedera said that most of the votes were cast by mail before
White's win at the Kinney meet, and that she didn't think that her competing in the lower profile sports of running and swimming had a major effect on the outcome.
In addition to the award, White's high school will receive a $5,000 donation from Dial.
White said she and her family would like to see the money go toward the installation of bleachers and lights at the football field.
She and boys winner Jacque Vaughn, a point guard from Muir High in Pasadena, Calif., will receive their awards at a black-tie dinner in Washington on Jan. 23.
"It probably won't sink in until then," she said. "When I go to the hTC dinner and see all those famous people, and know that they're there to honor me, then it will hit me."