I have absolutely no background in college running, but wouldn't going off on your own not look good to college recruiters. Eventhough running “is” very individual to “we” the runners, I think coaches would look at it negatively.
However, I can't fault the girl, her swim season started and she's trying to schedule her running with her swim season, didn't Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders have overlap with their two sports of choice? As a parent, I would be very happy with her choice, in 6 years both sports will be totally individual and she will less likely not be burnt out on either one. So I'm with a “no” with your last question, kids don't need added competition. Sounds like this one is saying loud and clear “she needs a break”