By Eric Johnson and Garrett Smiley
Two of Cuesta College’s very own were crowned state champions late 2016 for the first time since 1984.
Runners Sean McDermott and Miranda Daschian brought home the state title during a meet in Woodpark, Fresno, Calif. on Nov. 19.
“The win is pretty exceptional,” said Brian Locher, the ten year cross country and track and field coach for Cuesta College. “It is the first in Cuesta’s history.”
While the individual wins earned championships, the men and women’s team finished in the top ten. This has been a consistent result for the men’s team for the last three years, Locher said.
Locher credited the team’s long-term success to his willingness to “work with the athlete and tailor what I do with his or her needs.” He also credited leniency and care to assisting runners to reach their individual potential.
“I felt confident for most of the season, and staying undefeated definitely helped with that,” said Daschian, who ran undefeated from start to finish last season, “I trained hard over the summer, doing more mileage than I had previously, and continued to push myself throughout the season.”
McDermott’s victory in Fresno was the third of his three wins last season.
“[McDermott] is a savvy runner […] he is the kind of athlete that gains confidence as he runs,” Locher said.
“Before the championship season I felt like I was in the best shape of my life.” McDermott said. “I never experienced the feeling of ‘floating’ while on my run, but the week before state I experience this feeling. It was amazing feeling knowing you are ready for the moment you have been training all season for.”
The two athletes continue their athletic campaign this season, competing in a different sport. You can see them competing for Cuesta College’s Track and Field team.