Collins made an immediate
impact on the women's cross country squad when she
placed third overall in the NCAA Division II national
championships in the autumn of her freshman year. It was the
highest individual finish ever by a Crusader woman in a national
event to that point.
Collins was selected for numerous personal awards including All-New England and All-ECAC as a freshman and sophomore and was chosen to the 1984 All-National Catholic Cross Country team. She was a star harrier for the 1983 cross country squad which won the MAAC, ECAC and National Catholic Cross Country championships. She achieved All-American designation in both 1983 and 1984 before injury forced her to miss the 1985 season. When Collins returned in 1986, she was again chosen All-New England and All-ECAC.
Collins competed with the swimming team as well, receiving All-New England distinction in the 1986 season. An outstanding student athlete, she was elected to Alpha Sigma Nu (Jesuit Honor Society) and was the recipient of the Lawler Prize in 1987, given to the varsity athlete attaining the highest grade point average. Honored by the Varsity Club with the prestigious Judge John P. Cooney Award in 1987, and then capped her career by winning an NCAA post graduate scholarship.