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Notebook: Cuesta College athletes earn postseason recognition

The Cuesta College men’s cross country team was well represented when the Western State Conference handed out its postseason awards.

Freshman standout Sean McDermott, who placed fifth at the CCCAA state championships and was the Cougars’ top finisher in all five of his races, garnered first-team all-conference honors and was named to the all-state team.

McDermott became the fifth Cuesta runner in school history to earn all-state recognition, joining Eric Huff (1976), Sergio Reyes (1999), Gordon Sturgess (2012) and Connor Fisher (2014) in that exclusive club.

San Jose State transfer Sam Ryan also was selected first-team all-conference, and Aramis Knox earned second-team accolades. Roberto Bazan, Dan Van Beurden and Jai Singh represented Cuesta on the honorable mention squad.

On the women’s side, Morro Bay graduate Aly Voth was chosen to the first team, and Nipomo alumnus Taylor Witcher took home second-team accolades. Paso Robles graduate Claire Farrell garnered honorable mention.

Engel named first-team all-conference for women’s soccer

Despite a somewhat trying season in terms of wins and losses, five Cuesta College women’s soccer players earned Western State Conference recognition for their strong play.

Freshman defender Christen Engel was the lone Cougar selected as a first-team all-conference performer, and she also was voted as the team’s most valuable player. Freshman midfielder Brooke Canepa, who was voted by teammates as the most outstanding player, and sophomore defender Alyssa Goodman were each named to the second team.

Goalkeepers Kat Wilcox and Micaela Lewis both garnered honorable mention for Cuesta, which finished its season with a 5-10-3 record overall.

Atascadero High graduate one of two volleyball honorees

Two Cuesta College volleyball players made the Western State Conference honorable mention squad for the 8-18 Cougars.

Atascadero High graduate Maren Cracknell led Cuesta with 74 total blocks and posted a team-best .290 hitting percentage. Cracknell, a freshman middle blocker, recorded the second-most kills on the team with 154.

Freshman libero Emily O’Brien joined Cracknell as an honorable mention recipient. She became the first Cougar since 2002 to finish the season with more than 400 digs, tallying 438 during her standout season. O’Brien also led the team with 36 service aces, the sixth-best season total in school history.

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