Stanford's Sean McGorty ran the fastest mile in Stanford track and field history indoors or outdoors at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation indoor championships Saturday.
In a ferocious duel with Washington's Izaic Yorks, McGorty was narrowly beaten. However, York's 3:53.89 and McGorty's 3:53.95 were the two fastest ever by American collegians indoors and rank No. 3 and No. 4 all-time indoors on any-sized track.
The times won't count for record purposes because Dempsey Indoor's 307-meter flat track is oversized, meaning it's bigger than the standard 200-meter tracks considered for record purposes.
The collegiate indoor record is 3:52.88 by Arizona's Lawi Lalang, a native of Kenya, in 2014, and the American collegiate record remains the 3:54.54 by BYU's Mike Batty in 2012.
McGorty obliterated the school indoor record of 3:57.14 by Michael Atchoo run on the same track (Stanford includes all track sizes for indoor records) in 2013, and Olympian Jeff Atkinson's outdoor mile mark of 3:55.16 from 1986.
On the final lap, McGorty twice tried to take the lead on the final lap, first on the backstretch and then in a finishing kick, but fell just short of York's 3:53.89. Both were under Atchoo's meet record, as well as the facility standard of 3:54.52 by Chris Solinsky in 2011.
It was the only mile of the season for McGorty, who will bypass the event at the NCAA Indoors on March 11-12 in Birmingham, Alabama, in favor of the 3,000.
The meet schedule allows McGorty, who is a junior academically but a sophomore in eligibility, to anchor Stanford's distance medley relay on Friday and then run the 3,000 on Saturday. The mile requires a qualifying heat Friday.
"I really wanted to get a good mile in, but I had talked with Coach (Chris Miltenberg) and the focus was definitely on racing and focusing on competing."
McGorty's previous mile best was 3:59.34, run on the same track a year ago, but he tipped his hand with a 3:55.8 anchor split over 1,600 in a school-record setting DMR Jan. 29 at Penn State.
Stanford's women finished second to Oregon its best finish since 2012 with 73.75 points, and the Cardinal men were sixth, with 51.5.
Olivia Baker was Stanford's only winner among the men or women. Baker, a sophomore, won the women's 800 meters in 2:04.28.
In the women's 3,000, Vanessa Fraser appeared to secure an NCAA berth by running a personal best 9:09.89 in finishing fourth.
Teammate Aisling Cuffe, the NCAA indoor and outdoor 5,000 runner-up in 2014, returned to the track for the first time since that season after recovering from an injury and ran 9:10.59, which puts her on the NCAA qualifying bubble. Those with the top 16 marks in the country earn passage. The fields will be announced in the coming days.