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 on 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 men's 8K (4.97-mile) course in 23:38.97, fewer than eight seconds out of third place, with defending 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.
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.
Kirstie Ahn, Ellen Tsay and Krista Hardebeck were three of six Stanford players to qualify for the Round of 16 at the USTA/ITA Northwest Regional Championship being played at Stanford.
Freshmen Carol Zhao, Caroline Doyle and Taylor Davidson also won matches in the Round of 32 on Saturday.
Both of Stanford's doubles teams also advanced and the duo of Amelia Herring and Lindsey Kostos won their consolation match.
Zhao, the lone Cardinal who went three sets, teamed with Ahn in doubles. Davidson and Tsay also won a doubles match.
Cameron Wilson shot a 1-under 71 on Saturday and finished the second round of the U.S. Collegiate Championships in Georgia tied for third with a two-day total of 140.
Stanford rests in seventh with an even-par 576 heading into Sunday's final round. Oklahoma State leads the competition with a total of 565, one stroke better than Georgia Tech.
Jim Liu matched Wilson's 1-under 71 and Patrick Rodgers shot an even-par 72 on the day to contribute to the team total.