Wherever Annamarie DiGiacobbe is on the track, Highland teammate Kaylee Kenne is always close behind.
No matter who is leading and which distance event is taking place, the tandem has made a habit of working together to not only help the Hornets succeed but accomplish personal goals as well.
“I just love running with her. She’s like a sister to me,” Kenne said. “Before we go out there, we’re always like, ‘We need to get one and two,’ and it doesn’t matter who gets which spot. Sometimes she’s going to get it, and sometimes I’m going to get it. We’re just the dynamic duo.”
That duo had been missing for most of the season, however, as DiGiacobbe was sidelined with a stress reaction in her tibia until late last month.
Despite the lack of race time together, DiGiacobbe and Kenne didn’t miss a beat and took first and second, respectively, in the 1,600-meter run to help the Hornets win the Suburban League American Conference Championship.
While DiGiacobbe took the win by outkicking Kenne in the final 100, they exchanged a congratulatory high five and hug at the finish line.
“I trust her out there,” DiGiacobbe said. “It’s just nice to have someone out there to push you and know what you want to do. We have a little plan going in, and whoever is feeling it in the last 200 just takes off.”
Kenne, a sophomore All-Gazette selection, has been spending most of the spring finding ways to push herself without DiGiacobbe next to her.
But nothing beats having her friend there to raise the bar, especially with the Brunswick Division I District opening today.
“This season has been horrible without her. I just had to run by myself,” said Kenne, who also is expected to run with DiGiacobbe today in the 4x8. “Marie has been hurt all season, and that was a really good comeback for her (at the SL meet). I have some competition now.”
The feeling is mutual for DiGiacobbe, who missed her teammate and the sport she loves.
“You don’t realize how much you love running until you can’t run at all,” the junior All-Gazette pick said. “It’s so nice to be dead tired after something when you’re competing.”
Sure, each loves to see the other do well, but there is always a little competition.
When DiGiacobbe and Kenne are at practice, they will see who can finish the sprint workout first or whose time was better that day. That has made them among the top distance runners in the area.
It also could get both back to Columbus.
“It’s awesome,” DiGiacobbe said. “In practices, she’ll win a 400 and then I’ll win one. It’s just nice to get the competitiveness going. It gives you a good idea of what the races are going to be like when you go back-and-forth with somebody.
“We are really good friends off the track. That makes it better. It’s nice have the camaraderie and cool to have someone with me all the time.”
Contact Dan Brown at email@example.com.