It's rare for a team's spot in the countdown to hinge on a single runner, but in this case it's all about Matt Strangio. Jesuit's returning team times include his 15:28, the best by a freshman in all of California. But that probably wasn't Strangio's best, because an injury pulled him off the roster for the Marauders' league meet as well as the SJS prelims and finals (all of which the team won without him). Strangio returned for the state meet and ran second for the team, but it was clear he wasn't anywhere near full strength - and that means we didn't see Jesuit's best last fall, either. The loss of three seniors from the team that ended up 8th in Division 1 complicates matters further. This will be a young team, and may not reach its full potential this year; the entire top 5 and 6 of the returning top 7 will be back for 2018. In the meantime, Strangio clocked 9:17.58 for the 3200 in the spring, #1 not only in the Golden State but in the country among 9th-graders, and returning #5 Colin Ryan showed big progress by breaking 10 minutes. This is one of the deepest programs in the state, and there is little doubt that Jesuit will cultivate the depth they need to improve the back end of their top 7. Even if the staff takes a two-year approach with their young Marauders, this team should still be able to at least duplicate last year's top 10 finish, and they might end up being a little better.
2017 Returning Stats:
- 5K Ranking: 13th
- 3-Year 5K Improvement Rating: 19th
- 5-Year 5K Improvement Rating: 7th