Churchill's David Kanstoroom won the Montgomery County boys singles tennis championship. Springbrook's Jeri Ingram captured the girls division.

But that's where the similiarities end.

At the state tennis championship, Kanstoroom was seeded No. 1 in the boys singles. Ingram, a 14-year-old freshman who has played seriously for only three years, was seeded third and had to face the defending champion.

Kanstoroom didn't win.

Ingram did.

Kanstoroom withdrew from the tournament during his second match when tendinitis in his right wrist flared up in the first set.

Ingram breezed through the tournament, losing only nine games. Five of those games were in a three-set victory over the top seed. That was the first time this season Ingram has been extended to three sets.

The different set of circumstances, however, breed a common link between the two.

The missed opportunity for the state championship doesn't turn Kanstoroom melodramatic -- only pragmatic. "I'm very disappointed," said Kanstoroom, with the same tone one might use ordering a Big Mac. "I just have to accept that injuries occur in tennis and there is nothing I can do about it. If I rest a bit, it'll be okay. It's difficult, but there is nothing I can really do."

Nothing, that is, except swallow hard and wait for next year.

Ingram, meanwhile, has not reacted giddily or shown a big ego after winning the state title. "I'm happy to win," she said shyly. "But it will be hard to keep winning it like everyone expects me to."

And there's nothing she can do about that pressure and possible disappointment, either. She, too, will just have to wait for next year, or more accurately, the next three years.

Both athletes travel extensively to play in national tournaments. And both have learned different things. Kanstoroom was distressed and learned appreciation; Ingram was disciplined and learned sacrifice.

"I traveled a lot," said Kanstoroom, an honor student. "I learned that not everyone lives like we do in Potomac. Seeing that at such an early age just brings out the thought. You learn to appreciate what you have."

Ingram's lesson was of discipline, severe for a pre-teenager traveling around the nation. "It was really hard at times to stay and do your best even when you just wanted to go home," she said. "You've got to stick it out. And the little things like not rushing shots. It's all discipline and you have to give up a lot. But, I wouldn't have had that (discipline) as easy without tennis."

Ingram is the first black to win a girls' Maryland state title. And she's only 14.

"I doesn't really affect me," she said. "I've never really thought about that. I just play. It has never really come up.

"I don't think I can keep winning (the state championship) like everyone is expecting," she said. "I've got to work.