Stunning Elite 8 Results Set Up Boys Distance Poll Semis

Greatest Boys Combination Distance Runner of the Decade poll semifinalists, from left: Caleb Webb (6), Liam Anderson (3), Cooper Teare (2) and Matt Strangio (1). (Photos by Regan Rhames/Eric Taylor/Pat Rhames)


Two of the top four seeds were eliminated in blind voting during the quarterfinal round of MileSplitCA's Greatest Boys Combination Distance Runner of the Decade poll tournament.

In voting, which closed Tuesday at midnight, tournament favorites Blake Haney and Nico Young were knocked out.

Young, a senior at Newbury Park (SS), was upset by Caleb Webb, a 2015 graduate of Big Bear (SS) and the 2015 State Meet 3200m champion. Webb trailed by a 68%-32% margin as of Sunday's update and by 73 votes heading into the final 11 hours of voting. He received a huge surge of support in the final hours to advance by 36 votes.

Young was the State 3200m champion in 2019 whose four-lap PR of 8:40.00 ranks CA No. 1 in the decade and No. 3 all time.

Haney, a 2014 graduate of Stockdale (CS) whose stellar prep resume warranted consideration as the top overall seed, lost by 28 votes to Liam Anderson (Redwood/NC/2019). 

In the other two quarterfinal matchups, Matt Strangio (Jesuit/SJ/2020) defeated Jason Gomez (Westmont/CC/2018) by nearly 200 votes, and Cooper Teare (St. Joseph Notre Dame/NC/2017) was a 79-vote winner over Isaac Cortes (Great Oak/SS/2016).

Gomez was a two-time State Meet finalist for 800m and the 2018 champion. In 2016, Cortes became one of only two runners in more than 90 years to win both the 800m and 1600m at the same State Meet. 

Webb was the only quarterfinal winner who needed a late uptick in voting support to advance. Anderson led by just 30 votes as of the Tuesday update. Strangio's lead grew over the final 11 hours of voting, as did Teare's. 


  • Teare vs. Strangio. 
  • Anderson vs. Webb.
  • Scroll down to vote. 


This poll tournament began with 32 of the best boys distance runners in California between 2010 and 2019.  This is based on track times and results without regard to XC. Runners were selected based on top 800/1600, 1600/3200 and 800/3200 combined rankings within the decade, as well as State Meet results. Single-distance-event specialists that do not rank among the top tier of either of the three combined event PR options, were only considered to fill out the 32-runner bracket. As a result, all 1600m and 3200m State Meet champions in the decade are included but not all 800m champions. The final cut to 32 was subjective.

Boys were placed in ranking groups of four based primarily on their combined rankings. Results at the State Meet were also strongly considered. Once in groups, boys were ordered alphabetically. Strangio and Teare were in the top group, Anderson was in the third group and Webb was ranked in the seventh group. 



(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.

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. 


(Voting closes Friday at midnight)