Matt Strangio missed out on qualifying for the CIF state track and field championships by one place as a freshman.
Strangio, who just finished his sophomore year at Jesuit, wasn’t going to let anything bad happen this year.
Strangio not only qualified for the state meet in the 3,200 meters, but the Folsom resident pulled off a victory. Strangio took the gold medal Saturday with a winning time of 8:56.18, his personal-best time by four seconds. He entered the race with the third-fastest time in the state.
“I was hurt a month ago for about two weeks, so my goal was just to get to state and go for the podium,” Strangio said. “About halfway through the race, I realized I could do this. With two laps to go, I found myself in first place and thought ‘I can win this thing.’”
Strangio led with 800 meters to go, but was soon passed by Justin Hazell of El Camino Real, who led until about 150 meters to go when Strangio took the lead for good and ran with it to the finish line.
“This motivates me for sure,” he said. “I can try to double up next year, and I have more confidence now heading toward cross country nationals.”
Strangio plans on running the 1,600 meters in this weekend’s Golden West Invitational at Oak Ridge High. He hopes to run a 4:06.