Sean McGorty, a seven-time All-Met at Chantilly who is now a top freshman runner at Stanford, won the junior men’s eight kilometer race at the USA Cross Country Championships on Saturday in Boulder, Colo.
McGorty was dominant in the win, covering the course in 24 minutes and 44 seconds to beat the field by 42 seconds. It was perhaps the most impressive win to date for McGorty, who was named the All-Met athlete of the year in both cross-country and track & field as a senior in 2012-2013.
“I was pretty excited to win. It was awesome to have my teammates go two-three, so we had a Stanford sweep,” McGorty said. “It was awesome to win, and it’s very cool to be a cross-country junior national champion. It just shows the training is working. Just want to keep working hard, and keep pushing forward
McGorty finished his high school career as one of the most decorated distance runners in Virginia history. He broke four meet records in cross-country as a senior, including a victory at the Foot Locker South in 14:28, and he set a meet record at the Penn Relays with a 4:04.47 mile last April.
It has been a year of transition for McGorty, who has quickly become one of Stanford’s best runners despite his youth. He began his freshman season after winning the New Balance Outdoor Nationals two-mile race fashion in June. McGorty said he picked up confidence during his debut in October, at Pre-Nationals in Terre Haute, Ind. in October. He was Stanford’s top runner and placed fifth overall, and he went on to being named an All-West Region selection after finishing 12th at the NCAA West Regionals in Sacramento.
The win last week represented a step forward for McGorty, who anticipates another busy spring. He will represent the United States in the NACAC Cross Country Championships next week in Trinidad and Tabago, which will set the tone for the upcoming spring season, he said.
“I think it was great to have learning experiences during the fall quarter, to learn what I need to change from high school,” McGorty said. “I’m very happy that I was able to learn from both of my experiences, especially in cross-country I know how to improve physically and mentally as a runner. I’m excited for the journey to come.”