Stanford junior Sean McGorty made a late bid for victory at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Friday, finishing third to lead the Cardinal.
McGorty covered the 8-kilometer (4.97-mile) Thomas Zimmer Championship Course in 23:36.2, about a second behind winner Marc Scott, a sophomore from Tulsa. Stanford teammate Garrett Sweatt was 25th in 23:56.4.
Stanford, which did not include several runners who should be part of its NCAA lineup at nationals, and finished 21st.
McGorty and Sweatt ran most of the race in a massive lead pack that didn't thin until the late stages of the race. By 6K, McGorty settled into a lead group of 10. That group thinned and with about 1,000 meters left, McGorty took his first lead as he ran side by side with Syracuse's Justyn Knight.
Down the stretch, McGorty and Knight strained for the lead, only to be overtaken by Scott with perhaps 100 to go.
McGorty and Sweatt ran solid races in a powerful field that included 17 teams that came in ranked among the USTFCCCA Top 30, including seven of the top 11.
For most of the Cardinal's young squad, which did not include any seniors, this was an introduction to top-level competition.
Stanford's men next head to the Pac-12 Championships on Oct. 30 in Colfax, Washington. The Cardinal should benefit from the collegiate debut of freshman Grant Fisher, the two-time Foot Locker national high school champion.