Saratoga Springs distance running star Kelsey Chmiel is on the comeback trail.
The North Carolina State-bound senior, who hasn't competed since the Feb. 18 Section II Division I indoor championship meet due to tendinitis in her left foot, is practicing again and prepping for a big finish to her illustrious scholastic career.
"We're being cautious," Saratoga girls' track and cross country co-coach Linda Kranick said. "It's a long season, and when she's ready, she will run races. There is no timetable. Right now, she is running every day in practice."
Though not competing just yet, the multi-champion is contributing to one of the nation's premier running programs.
"She is having a real positive impact on the younger girls," Kranick said. "They look up to her, and she is encouraging them and interacting with them. She has a lot of experience and has a lot to give."
Chmiel won the 1,500-meter race at the Feb. 18 sectionals, but did not run at the state meet or at the indoor nationals afterward. She has missed a couple of Suburban Council dual meets this spring.
"It was tendinitis," Kranick said. "There was some inflammation. She will be back running this season."
Late last spring, Chmiel won the 1,500 and 3,000 at the Suburban Council and Section II Group 1 championship meets, placed first in the 3,000 at the state meet qualifier and placed second at the state meet in that event. As a follow-up, Chmiel finished fourth in the two-mile run at the nationals. During her sophomore year, she was the national two-mile outdoor champ.
Chmiel's cross country resume includes four straight Section II Class A titles, and a state title during her sophomore year. Four times she had been named the top cross country runner in her class by the New York State Sportswriters Association.