Sean McGorty advanced to the men's 5,000-meter final at the U.S. Olympic Trials, but Stanford teammate Grant Fisher missed by less than two seconds in their first-round heat Monday at Hayward Field.
McGorty was the final time qualifier for the 16-runner field, running 13:52.16, to finish just behind former Stanford star Garrett Heath (13:50.63). McGorty placed ninth in the first heat, with Fisher 10th in 13:53.27.
Fisher was 18th overall among the two heats and former Stanford great Chris Derrick also was unable to qualify, running 14:01.51.
McGorty, the recent NCAA outdoor runner-up in his sophomore year of eligibility, and Heath race the 5,000 final on Saturday at 5:20 p.m. Each has achieved the Olympic standard and therefore would earn passage to Rio by finishing among the top three.
Their semifinal heat was relatively slow, with McGorty and Fisher part of the main pack that didn't begin to separate until the final lap.
Fisher started to fall back when the pace quickened with 400 left, and McGorty held strong until 250 remained, but was able to hang tough down the stretch to gain the final spot.
Derrick led the second heat until two laps remained, but was swallowed by the pack and quickly lost contact.
Among those McGorty and Heath will contend with Saturday are Galen Rupp, Bernard Lagat, Ryan Hill, Lopez Lomong, Hassan Mead, and Ben True.
University of Portland's William Kincaid, the first heat winner, is the only other collegian in the final.
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