By Eric Johnson and Garrett Smiley
Two of Cuesta Collegeâ€™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.
â€œThe win is pretty exceptional,â€ said Brian Locher, the ten year cross country and track and field coach for Cuesta College. â€œIt is the first in Cuestaâ€™s history.â€
While the individual wins earned championships, the men and womenâ€™s team finished in the top ten. Â This has been a consistent result for the menâ€™s team for the last three years, Locher said.
Locher credited the teamâ€™s long-term success to his willingness to â€œwork with the athlete and tailor what I do with his or her needs.â€ He also credited leniency and care to assisting runners to reach their individual potential.
â€œI felt confident for most of the season, and staying undefeated definitely helped with that,â€ said Daschian, who ran undefeated from start to finish last season, â€œI trained hard over the summer, doing more mileage than I had previously, and continued to push myself throughout the season.â€
McDermottâ€™s victory in Fresno was the third of his three wins last season.
â€œ[McDermott] is a savvy runner [â€¦] he is the kind of athlete that gains confidence as he runs,â€ Locher said.
â€œBefore the championship season I felt like I was in the best shape of my life.â€ McDermott said. â€œI never experienced the feeling of â€˜floatingâ€™ 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.â€
The two athletes continue their athletic campaign this season, competing in a different sport. You can see them competing for Cuesta Collegeâ€™s Track and Field team.