Flotrack video interview below
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Stanford’s Aisling Cuffe placed second in the top women’s race and freshman Sean McGorty was fifth in his collegiate debut to highlight Stanford cross country performances at the high-caliber Indiana State Pre-National Invitational on Saturday at this year’s NCAA championship course.
Cuffe, a junior returning All-America, and teammate Jessica Tonn contended for the individual victory ultimately taken by Boise State’s Emma Bates in 20:09.09 with Cuffe just behind in 20:10.70. Tonn was fourth over the 6-kilometer (3.73-mile) LaVern Gibson Championship Course in 20:12.84.
Cuffe’s finish was the highest for a Stanford woman in the meet since Teresa McWalters was second in 2007. While the No. 11-ranked Cardinal women were ninth, the men finished a strong fourth.
McGorty covered the 8K (4.97-mile) course in 23:38.97, fewer than eight seconds out of third place, with defending NCAA champion Kennedy Kithuka of Texas Tech capturing the Blue Race title in 22:52.78.
The Cardinal, ranked No. 29 and rated 11th in the 52-team field, scored 148 points. The Cardinal trailed winner Colorado (90), Oregon (113), and Iona (126). Stanford also picked up valuable head-to-head advantages over other schools that it ultimately could contend with for NCAA at-large berths.
McGorty, a native of Fairfax, Va., ran unattached while finishing fifth at the Stanford Invitational on Sept. 28 as coach Chris Miltenberg, Stanford’s Franklin P. Johnson Director of Track and Field, evaluated whether to redshirt him and the team’s other freshmen.
In the end, Miltenberg felt McGorty was ready physically and needed only to improve his racing skills, which could only be gained by experience. McGorty made the decision pay off.
Stanford’s next meet will be the Pac-12 Championships on Nov. 2 in Louisville, Colo., outside Boulder.
Winner and Stanford results:
Team winner: Colorado 90. 4, Stanford 148.
Individual winner: Kennedy Kithuka (Texas Tech) 22:52.78. Stanford: 5, Sean McGorty 23:38.97; 13, Erik Olson 23:44.80; 14, Jim Rosa 23:44.83; 40, Michael Atchoo 24:08.06; 76, Garrett Sweatt 24:26.85; 180, Justin Brinkley 26:05.44; 223, Tyler Stutzman 26:17.48.
Team winner: Georgetown 117. 9, Stanford 275.
Individual winner: Emma Bates (Boise State) 20:09.09. Stanford: 2, Aisling Cuffe 20:10.70; 4, Jessica Tonn 20:12.84; 72, Cami Chapus 21:15.78; 77, Sophie Chase 21:17.49; 120, Megan Lacy 21:37.14; 152, Tate Murray 21:49.30; 316, Justine Fedronic 23:19.45.
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SUNNYVALE, Calif. – Stanford also sent a men’s team to the Bronco Invitational at Baylands Park and the Cardinal finished fourth, with 136 points.
Kenny Krotzer led the Cardinal, finishing 13th in 24:10.6 over 8K. Claudia Saunders’ 20th place (21:05.8) led the women, though Stanford did not run a full team.
Winner and Stanford results:
Team winner: Loyola Marymount 84. 4, Stanford 136.
Individual winner: Eric Causey (USF) 23:39.6. Stanford: 13, Kenny Krotzer 24:10.6; 15, Marco Bertolotti 24:13.2; 19, Jack Bordoni 24:23.8; 21, Kevin Bishop 24:28.2; 151, Will Drinkwater 26:02.1.
Team winner: Loyola Marymount 53. Stanford inc.
Individual winner: Grace Graham-Zamudio (Loyola Marymount) 20:18.1. Stanford: 20, Claudia Saunders 21:05.8; 72, Jaye Buchbinder 21:51.2; 86, Mary Kate Anselmini 21:56.1; 196, Aimee Trujillo 24:00.2. Stanford unattached: 12, Vanessa Fraser 20:47.7; 19, Emma Fisher 21:03.9; 29, Danielle Katz 21:17.8; 89, Jackie Choucair 21:58.4.