Strangio Wins Cross Country State Title
Jesuit squad places 5th
The 2018 Cross Country season culminated at the CIF State Championships where junior Matt Strangio led the team to a 5th place finish in the Division 1 race and won the individual title, covering 5K in 15:04. Strangio went with the lead pack from the gun, coming through the first mile in 4:45 with another 45 runners coming in under 4:50. The pack whittled down to 10 by the 2 mile with Strangio sitting in 3rd behind senior William Frankenfeld of Long Beach Poly and senior Jonathan Velasco of Mission Hills. Frankenfeld pushed the pace with only Strangio and senior Evan Bates of West Ranch able to keep up with half a mile to go. In the final stretch, it was down to Bates and Strangio with Strangio taking the win by 0.8 seconds, 15:04.5 to 15:05.3. Strangio is the second Jesuit athlete to win an individual state title in Cross Country with the first being Matt Farley in 1993 in a time of 15:06. Strangio’s finish ranks him 4th all-time for Jesuit on the Woodward Park course. Strangio was recognized as an All-State athlete and earned a bid to compete at the Nike Cross National Meet in Portland for the second year in a row.
The senior-heavy squad put their best effort on the line in their final race of the season and, for most, their high school careers. Senior Colin Ryan moved up 21 places from the first mile to the finish for 28th place in 15:42 (17th AT). Junior Chase Gordon was 56th in 15:58 (34th AT) to break 16:00 for the first time on the course. Senior Antonio Vargas closed out his Jesuit career with a big PR in 16:06 for 71st (43rd AT) and senior Anthony Rogado closed out the scoring in 16:17 for 84th place (52nd AT). Senior Gabriel Lovely ran 16:23 (102nd) and senior Miles Worthen ran 17:10 (167th). The Marauders scored 180 points to place 5th in the State with a team time of 77:10, the second fastest time ever run by a Jesuit team at Woodward Park behind the 3rd place team of 2015.
Strangio will compete individually for a national title at Nike Cross Nationals next Saturday, December 1, in Portland where he placed 15th as a sophomore in 2017.