Following its 23-11 campaign and a fourth-place finish in the Western State Conference, the Cuesta College women’s water polo team had several athletes earn postseason recognition.
Sophomores Emily Crane and Sam Baker both received first-team all-conference honors, with Crane also being selected as a second-team all-state performer. Crane was one of three Cuesta players to eclipse the 70-goal mark, finishing the season with 72 goals and a school-record 67 assists.
A Hemet High graduate, Crane finished her career ranked No. 10 in program history with 107 goals and No. 1 with 101 assists.
Baker, a former Nipomo High standout, began the season in the field before transitioning to goalkeeper, where she went on to make 191 saves, the ninth-most all-time at Cuesta. An all-around player, Baker added 10 goals, 37 steals and 25 assists for the Cougars. Her 227 career saves ranks No. 6 in Cougars history.
Local graduates Katie White (Morro Bay) and Rebekah Hernandez (Arroyo Grande) received second-team all-conference accolades. White, used as the team’s primary sprinter, led Cuesta with 74 steals and chipped in 59 goals.
Hernandez scored the second-most goals on the team with 74, and her 36 assists rank No. 9 on the Cougars’ all-time list.
Four Cuesta players garnered honorable mention, including Paso Robles graduate Jessica Reeves and Arroyo Grande alumnus Isabella Manuele. Daci Hughes and Tarah Salazar also received honorable mention.
Reeves provided a key spark off the bench for Cuesta and finished the season with 23 goals. Manuele, who dealt with a nagging mid-season injury, was the team’s leading scorer with 75 goals (No. 10 on the Cougars’ all-time list) and set the school record with 79 fouls drawn.
Hartshorne receives All-American honor
Cuesta College freshman standout John Hartshorne was awarded for his efforts on the Cougars men’s water polo team during the fall.
The Irvine native played a leading role in helping Cuesta qualify for the postseason for the 37th consecutive year and finish with a 21-11 overall record. Hartshorne received first-team all-Western State Conference, first-team all-state and All-American honors after completing the season with 87 goals, 31 assists, 45 steals and 42 fouls drawn.
Gabe DeSimone was a first-team all-conference and second-team all-state award winner. He set the school assists record with 66, led Cuesta with 64 steals and scored 38 goals.
Logan Smith, a high school teammate of DeSimone’s in Albany, Ore., received first-team all-conference accolades as well. He contributed 25 goals and 21 assist during the season.
Cuesta’s Christian Emerson and Michael Bull were named to the second team. Local graduates Dan Crozie (San Luis Obispo) and Clint Doucette (Arroyo Grande) received honorable mention, along with Liam Barry.
Thomason set to compete for Texas A&M
Cuesta College sophomore pole vaulter Augusta Thomason recently signed an athletic scholarship to attend and compete for Texas A&M during the 2016-17 season.
The Aggies have a rich tradition in women’s track and field, having won the NCAA Outdoor championships in 2014 and finishing fourth in the same competition last spring.
Thomason, the 2015 Western State Conference Field Athlete of the Year, led the community college rankings with her season-best leap of 13 feet, 4¾ inches. She won the state title by more than a foot, clearing 12-4, well under her personal best. It was Cuesta’s 10th individual state title and fourth in the pole vault.
Thomason is one of seven women in Cuesta history to earn conference athlete of the year honors.