Poll: Boys Distance Tournament Moves Into Elite 8

Among the Greatest Boys Combined Distance Runner of the Decade poll tournament quarterfinalists are Matt Strangio (left) of Jesuit, Nico Young (center) of Newbury Park, and Isaac Cortes (right) of Great Oak.

(Photos by Deanna Turner (Young) and Kirby Lee/Image of Sport)


Second-round voting in MileSplitCA's Greatest Boys Distance Runner of the Decade poll tournament took a dip and that undoubtedly favored the top seeds, who mostly all advanced into the elite eight quarterfinals.

In a head-to-head battle between two of Great Oak's greatest distance stars, Isaac Cortes was a runaway winner over Spencer Dodds. Other favorites, Blake Haney (over Ammar Moussa), Nico Young (over Cole Spencer), Matt Strangio (over Eduardo Herrera) and Cooper Teare (over Jantzen Oshier) all received enough votes to advance. 

In one of the hottest showdowns of the second round, Liam Anderson advanced over Austin Tamagno by just 35 votes. Jason Gomez was a 42-vote winner over Connor Dunne, Haney was 50-votes better than Moussa and, in the closest race of the second round, Caleb Webb edged Robert Brandt by a 21-point lean at the tape. 

Your votes count.

Oshier had a lot of social media buzz during his first-round victory over Jett Charvet but fell more than 220 votes under his first-round total. Just 50% of that would have pushed him into the quarters. The same is true for Dunne, who was nearly 200 votes under his first-round total. Spencer was nearly 400 votes under his first total. In fact, of the eight boys who were eliminated, all would have advanced if support was at least within 70% of the first round.

Why do we make this point? Young, the top vote-getter in each of the first two rounds, was nearly 600 votes under his first-round support. In other words, one of this tournament's favorites, was extremely vulnerable. Six of the eight matchups were decided by fewer than 100 votes and the other two weren't much over 125.  

Quarterfinal voting is underway through Tuesday at midnight. Your votes determine which of these historic CA track and field distance runners advance in this showcase. 


(Listed Alphabetically)

Liam Anderson (Redwood/NC/2019) -- State 1600m champion in 2018 (4:09.31). Three-time State Meet finalist for both 1600m and 3200m. Placed second for 3200m in 2019, fifth in 2018 and 14th in 2017. For 1600m, placed third in 2019 and fourth in 2017. His 16/32 combo time of 13:00.85 ranks 14th in the decade.

Isaac Cortes (Great Oak/SS/2016) -- Won titles in the 800m (1:50.75) and 1600m (4:04.62) at the 2016 State Meet (one of only two to have accomplish that since 1923). Ranks first in the decade with a 8/16 combo time of 5:54.21, third for 8/32 (10:50.48) and 21st for 16/32 (13:04.29). PR of 800m of 1:50.20 ranks fifth in the decade, PR for 1600m (4:04.01) ranks 11th. Placed third for 800m in 2015.

Jason Gomez (Westmont/CC/2018) -- State 800m champion in 2018 (1:50.21) and placed fourth in 2017 (1:52.22). State-winning time is a PR that ranks sixth in CA over the decade, is the fourth fastest at the State Meet finals over the decade, and the fourth fastest to win the State title over the last 24 years.

Blake Haney (Stockdale/CS/2014) -- State 1600m champion in both 2013 (4:06.91) and 2014 (4:08.52). Also won the State 3200m title in 2013 (9:01.65). Clocked the fastest 8/32 combo time in the decade (10:38.77) and ranked fifth for both the 816 (5:58.88) and 16/32 (12:53.71) times. PR for 1600m of 4:02.67 (converted) ranks sixth in the decade and 12th in state history. His 3200m PR of 8:46.80 ranks sixth in the decade. Placed third for 1600m in 2012 and was a 3200m finalist in 2012 and 2014.

Matt Strangio (Jesuit/SJ/2020) -- State 1600m champion in 2019 (4:08.07) and 3200m champion in 2018 (8:56.18). Placed third at State for 3200m in 2019. Combined 16/32 time of 12:56.04 ranks seventh in the decade. PR of 8:47.92 converted for 3200m ranks eighth in the decade.

Cooper Teare (St. Joseph Notre Dame/NC/2017) -- State 3200m champion in 2016 (8:51.85). PR of 3:58.76 converted for 1600m ranks CA No. 1 all time. PR of 8:41.46 for 3200m ranks CA No. 2 in the decade and No. 5 overall. Combined 16/32 time of 12:49.24 ranks No. 2 in the decade. Placed third at State for 3200m in 2017 and was a finalist in 2015.

Caleb Webb (Big Bear/SS/2015) -- State 3200m champion in 2015 running 8:47.30 PR that ranks seventh in the decade and 18th in state history. Also was a 3200m finalist in 2014. Two-time Southern Section D4 champion for 3200m. Also won CIF-SS D4 title for 1600m in 2015 with 4:11.72 PR.

Nico Young (Newbury Park/SS/2020) -- State 3200m champion in 2019 (8:47.27). State 3200m finalist in 2018. PR of 8:40.00 for 3200m ranks CA No. 1 in the decade and No. 3 all time. PR for 1600m of 4:07.33. Combined 16/32 time of 12:47.33 ranks No. 1 in the decade.


(Voting closes Tuesday at midnight)