Boise State junior Emma Bates finished second Saturday in the NCAA Cross Country Championship in Terre Haute, Ind.
Bates ran the muddy, 6-kilometer course in 20 minutes, 3.9 seconds on a frigid day. She finished 3 seconds behind Dartmouth star Abbey D'Agostino.
Bates is the first Bronco man or woman to finish in the top 10.
"It just gives me more credibility," Bates said. "I'm hoping to have a really strong indoor and outdoor track season."
Bates was coming off a third-place finish in the NCAA outdoor 10,000 meters and a seventh-place finish in the 5,000.
D'Agostino, a senior, won her fifth national title in track and cross country.
"She started moving up with 2k to go," Bates said. "I stuck on her. We caught up to the (leader). Abbey took off a little bit. The final straightaway, I was trying to fight and get up to Abbey but I couldn't quite get her. It was a good race, a lot of fun."
The two likely will compete again indoors and possibly outdoors, but Bates expects to focus on the 10,000 outdoors and D'Agostino to focus on the 5,000.
"I'll definitely try to make a run for her again," Bates said.
Bates said she got a "huge confidence boost" from this season. She'll get another crack at the national title next fall.
"I didn't really know how this season was going to end up," Bates said. "It's definitely exceeded my expectations. I said at the beginning of the year I wanted to win, but it was definitely a far, far off goal and I just worked really hard."