Jenifer White of the Washington RunHers won the George Mason Open Invitational cross-country meet yesterday, finishing the 5,000-meter course in 17:58.7.

White, along with Kim Dunlap of the University of Maryland and Margaret Groos of the University of Virginia, led the pack throughout.

They bested the 140 runners assembled from 15 teams, a tremendous growth over last year's open roster of two-teams and 28 runners.

The 1977 collegiate season in the Washington area saw the birth of separate women's cross-country teams. The youngest members of these teams figured prominently in the competition, as freshmen took second through sixth places.

White, a marathon runner who was the ninth woman to finish the 1977 Boston Marathon, "really enjoyed the competition," namely Maryland's Dunlap.

"We were stride for stride for 2 1/2 miles," White said. "The last half mile we were both pushing hard. I guess I just had a little more left in me than she did."

Dunlap, 1977 Virginia state high school champion in the 880, echoed White's analysis of the finish. "I defeated myself, really," she said.

Groos, a former national high school record holder in the mile, grimaced when shown she missed first in the collegiate division by less than five seconds.

"I think I could have beaten her (Dunalp) if I'd started my sprint earlier," Groos said.

Leland Kelly of the University of the District of Columbia placed third in the collegiate division. kelly won the Interhigh cross country crown three years in a row as a Coolidge High School student before graduating to UDC.

The open also included a separated scoring division to determine the Virginia Federation of Intercollegiate Sports for Women (VFTSW) champion Groos took the individual honor, and her school, Virginia, won the team competition.