Junior Colleen Kelly made a brilliant return to her old form Saturday at the Cavalier Open in Charlottesville, Va., finishing first among collegiate runners to help lead the No. 7 Georgetown women’s cross country team to its fourth win of the season.

Although several colleges sent participants to compete in the race, only two teams’ scores were tabulated, and Georgetown defeated the University of Virginia, 21-36.

Kelly covered the 6,000m course in 22 minutes, 5.7 seconds to place eighth overall and earn one point in the team scoring. Georgetown graduate Emily Enstice won the race in 21:05.3, and other post-collegians and professionals occupied the remaining top six places.

The race marks Kelly’s first win of the season, and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. The team is beginning to finalize its postseason lineup, and despite being a two-year veteran of the NCAA Championships, Kelly’s role on the team has been questionable ever since she suffered an IT band injury over the summer. Kelly’s race on Saturday helps affirm her place among the team’s top runners, and makes her a prime candidate to return to the starting line in the team’s championship races later this season.

“Colleen may run next weekend at Regionals – we haven’t decided yet,” Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Ron Helmer said. “I thought [Saturday’s meet] was a step forward. It was the first time this season I think Colleen went out and aggressively raced. We set some goals beforehand, and she focused on those pretty well. We talked about trying to be in the top five, and if not in the top five, to at least be the top collegiate runner, and as it was, she was eighth and the top collegiate runner, so it just goes to show you what happens when you set a goal and execute the race plan.”

In her first race of the season, junior Diana Clock logged 22:09.5 to place second on the team and ninth overall.

“Diana had some issues to deal with – she missed some training time – and she has really done a nice job of getting things back together and getting training again,” Helmer said. “I thought it was a really nice race for her.”

Junior Rose Wetzel (22:52.3), senior Allison Snyder (23:13.2) and freshman Kim Malcolm (23:16.3) comprised the remainder of Georgetown’s top five.

Freshman Erin Henry placed sixth for the team in 23:16.3, and another freshman, highly touted 1,500m recruit, Sabine Knothe, ran unattached in her debut to time 23:28.2 for 24th place.

Next up for the Hoyas is the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship, scheduled for this Saturday in West Virginia.

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