Cross Country Preview
CUESTA HARRIERS GARNER WSC AWARDS
Youngblood and Falcone Named to First Team
SAN LUIS OBISPO (December 11, 2018)— Cuesta’s cross country teams had to regroup after both teams missed the 2017 CCCAA State Meet. The men rebuilt themselves into a contender and finished 14th at the CCCAA State Championships, however the women were unrepresented for the third time in the past 23 seasons. Cuesta landed six men and one woman on the 2018 All Western State Conference teams, including Steven Youngblood (Santa Maria: Pioneer Valley HS) and Jared Falcone (Clovis), who were both selected to the loop’s first team.
First-year Harriers Steven Youngblood (Santa Maria: Pioneer Valley HS) and Jared Falcone (Clovis) led the men’s cross-country team to 3rd place at the 2018 Western State Conference Championship, 11th place at the 2018 CCCAA Regional Cross Country Meet, and 14th at the 2018 CCCAA State Championships. Youngblood was the Cougars’ top performer in each of the Cougars’ first six meets, while Falcone improved throughout the season. Youngblood earned all-WSC First Team with an 11th place finish at the WSC Championship, but finished a disappointing 102nd (22:13.1) at the CCCAA State Meet. Falcone made his big jumps in each of the season-eliminating championship meets. He began his late season climb with 14th place at the WSC Championships to garner first team honors and concluded with a team-leading 51st (21:29.5) place finish at the 2018 CCCAA State Championships.
Freshman Wes Poulson (Tehachapi HS) and Sophomore Damian Navarro (Paso Robles HS) were both named to the 2018 All-WSC Second Team. Poulson entered the season as a prospect and spent the first two months in and out of the scoring team, but after skipping the NorCal Preview he came back strong with 27th place the WSC Meet and scored again at the CCCAA State Meet by landing in 130th (22:41.5) to round out the scoring team. Navarro moved up one spot, from 29th to 28th, place from the 2017 WSC Meet to make the all-WSC 2nd Team and qualify for the 2018 CCCAA State Championship. He was the fourth Cougar to cross the line in 110th place (22:23.1)
Sophomores Garron Knox (SLO HS) and Eli Diaz (Fresno) both earned 2018 All Western State Conference Honorable Mention. Knox finished a disappointing 32nd at the WSC Meet to earn a second consecutive honorable mention nod, but he bounced back at the 2018 CCCAA State Championship as the second Cuesta Harrier to cross the finish-line. Knox crossed the line at 21:51.1 for 77th place in the State. Diaz made it 1-2-3 for the Cougars when he came in directly behind Poulson and Navarro, and three spots ahead of Knox, in 29th place at the 2018 WSC Meet to earn all-WSC Honorable Mention. Two weeks later he finished a solid 144th (22:58.5) at the CCCAA State Meet, but was not part of the Cougars’ scoring team (Top 5).
Cuesta Women’s Cross Country finished 7th at the 2018 Western State Conference Championships and failed to make the CCCAA State Championship as a team for second straight year, but jumped back into the Western State Conference’s Top 10 after missing last year for the first time in decade. Freshman Mattie Lindsey (Templeton HS) was the team’s undisputed leader and was named to the 2018 All-Western State Conference Second Team. Lindsey led the Cougars in five of her six races and only once in her first five races did she have a teammate within a minute of her time- All State Middle Distance Runner Kirsten Purcell (Atascadero HS) beat her in the team’s sixth and final race by a mere eight seconds at the 2018 CCCAA Regional Meet.
Cross Country Honors
Steven Youngblood- All-WSC First Team
Jared Falcone- All-WSC First Team
Wes Poulson- All-WSC Second Team
Damian Navarro- All-WSC Second Team
Eli Diaz- All-WSC Honorable Mention Team
Garron Knox- All-WSC Honorable Mention
Mattie Lindsey- All-WSC Second Team