Gruetzmacher and Fisher Named Cuesta’s

2015 Outstanding Athletes of the Year


SAN LUIS OBISPO (May 12, 2015) – In 2003 the Cuesta Athletic Department instituted its first true Athlete of the Year Award.  The coaching staff was encouraged to nominate their best athlete for the award and committee was created that would weigh performance as the highest criteria.  Today Cuesta announced its Outstanding Athletes of the Year for the thirteenth time. This year’s winners are Aquatic star Rachel Gruetzmacher (Atascadero HS) and Running star Connor Fisher (Lake Isabella).

            Sophomore Rachel Gruetzmacher (Atascadero HS) is a two-year star for both water polo and swimming.  She has been the team MVP for both sports each of the past two seasons.  In water polo, she has twice been named to both the All Western State Conference First Team and All State; she was second team as a freshman and first team and All American as a sophomore.  This fall she led the Cougars to a school record 24 wins and to second place in the Western State Conference.  Gruetzmacher led the team with 85 goals this season, after tallying a school record 100 goals as a freshman, and ranks second all time with 185 career goals.  Gruetzmacher also ranks #2 all time in career shooting percentage (55.6%), #5 in fouls drawn (71), #6 in assists (63) and #9 in steals (121). Gruetzmacher competed for the swim team the past two spring and owns nine school records and also ranks in Cuesta’s All Time Top 10 in four other events.  This year she finished second at the 2015 CCCAA State Swim & Dive Championships in the 50-freestyle (:23.82) and 100-butterfly (:58.09), while also landing in third in the 100-freestyle (:52.08).  She has been undefeated in the Western State Conference Championship the past two years and led the Cougars to second place this season, while also leading the team to 10th at the CCCAA State Meet.   Guetzmacher is simply the most decorated female aquatics athlete in school history.  The two-time all academic selection was also named Cuesta College’s 50th George Silveria Student-Athlete of the Year.  She has committed to play water polo at Long Beach State for the 2015-16 school year.     

Freshman Connor Fisher (Lake Isabella) transferred from Cal Poly to compete for Cuesta this year and was named Team MVP for both cross country and track & field.  He was named to the 2015 CCCAA All State Cross Country First Team after leading the Cougars to the program’s first Top 10 state finish (6th).  He finished 3rd at the state meet after finishing 2nd at the CCCAA Regional meet and winning the 2014 Western State Conference Championships.   He was named 2014 WSC Harrier of the Year and led the Cougars to second place in the loop.  Fisher has also enjoyed an outstanding spring and qualified for both the 5,000 and 10,000-meter runs this weekend at the 2015 CCCAA State Track & Field Championship in San Mateo.  He set new Cuesta standards in the 3,000 (8:44.08) and 5,000-meter (14:29.81) runs and ranks #4 all time in both the 1,500 (3:54.69) and 10,000-meter (32:12.19) runs.  He led the track team to 4th place at the Western State Conference finals and to 6th place at the regional meet.  He has committed to Chico State for the 2015-16 school year.    


Outstanding Athlete of the Year Award


2003           Shanna DeMichelle, Napa (Swim)

2004           Christina Reyes, Los Osos (X-Country, Track)

2005           Jessie Ritchie, Arroyo Grande (Tennis)

2006           Lindsay Campana, Templeton (Softball)

2007           Whitney Levicki, Santa Cruz (Water Polo)

2008           Julie Coelho, Lemoore (Volleyball)

2009           Chloe Redman, Morro Bay (Tennis)

2010           Kelly Barmann, Cimarron, NM (X-Country)

2011           Alexandria Bernard, Porterville (Water Polo, Swim)

2012           Devon Kelsey, Atascadero (X-Country, Track)

2013           Kryn Masutani, Honolulu, HI (Softball)

2014           Riley Cooks, Coarsegold (Volleyball, Track)

2015          Rachel Gruetzmacher, Atascadero (Water Polo, Swim)



2003           David Lamar, Carpinteria (Baseball)                   

2004           Kevin Bradley, Long Beach (Water Polo, Swim)  

2005           Mike Brown, Davis (Baseball)                  

2006           Jeff Chaney, Arroyo Grande (Water Polo)              

2007           Michael Williams, Sutter Creek (Wrestling)       

2008           Quentin Cate, Cambria (Baseball)

2009           Tom Schumacher, Dudelange, LUX (Basketball)       

2010           Roger Guardia, Barcelona, ESP (Basketball)           

2011           Eric Marsh, Arroyo Grande (Water Polo)                

2012           Malte Kramer, Freidberg, DEU (Basketball)             

2013           Brady Moore, Santa Barbara (Water Polo)               

2014           Georan Meendering, Visalia (Swim) 

2015          Connor Fisher, Lake Isabella (X-Country, Track)        


Sinclair and Casey Named Cuesta’s

2015 Warren Hansen Scholar-Athletes of the Year


SAN LUIS OBISPO (May 12, 2015) – In 2002 the Cuesta Athletic Department established in 2002 and named the Warren Hansen Scholar-Athlete Award in recognition of former Cuesta Athletic Director Warren Hansen’s 36-year commitment to academic excellence.  A student must maintain a 3.5 GPA and be nominated on the basis of their citizenship and athletic performance. Both of the athletes will represent Cuesta at the Conference and State as Cuesta College’s COA Pepsi Scholar Award nominees. This year’s winners are Aquatic star Molly Casey (Coarsegold) and Grappler John Sinclair (San Jose).


Casey competed for two seasons in both water polo and swimming.  She is a two-time all conference water polo player and a two-time conference backstroke champion in swimming.  She holds the school record in the 200-backstroke and is also a four-time All American in swimming.  She has performed well academically and has been named to the all-Western State Conference Academic Team three times with a fourth time, this semester, pending.   Casey has posted 3.9 GPA in 56.0 units over the past three semesters and will transfer to Cal Poly for the 2015-16 school year.  Coach Pete Schuler says, “Molly is an exceptional person.  She tries to make everything fun, but remains focused to achieve all her goals both academically and athletically.  She is one of the most universally liked aquatic athletes we have ever had at Cuesta and is a great teammate.”


Sinclair is a two time all-conference wrestler and a two-time CCCAA State Meet qualifier.  He placed 8th at the 2014 CCCAA State Wrestling Championship this past December as Cuesta finished 7th.  He was named to the all-SouthEast Conference Academic team each of the past two seasons and has posted a 3.8 GPA in 54.0 units over the past three semesters.  Sinclair will transfer to UCLA for the 2015-16 school year.  Coach Joe Dansby says, “John truly earns every accolade he receives.  He is an exemplary young man who wrestles and studies with drive, focus and direction.  It has been an honor coaching John these last two years and watching him grow into a fine young man and role model. His character is impeccable and his tenacity will be un-duplicated.”


Both of Molly and John will represent Cuesta at the Conference and State level as Cuesta College’s CCCAA Scholar Award nominees.  Their nominations will move forward to the conference level in September. 


Warren Hansen Scholar-Athlete of the Year

                  Male                                       Female

2002           Savio Gomes (Water Polo)          Virlena Bascos (Basketball)

2003           Jeremy Waldram (Wrestling)      Leilani Greene (X-Country, Track)

2004           Kevin Bradley (Water Polo, Swim)       Chelsea Tallcott (Soccer)

2005           Jared Hollows (Track)               Lauren Villa (Basketball)

2006           Jon Jordan (Track)                   Clare Nowel (X-Country, Track)

2007           Mark Stephen (Water Polo)                 Haley Woeste (Basketball)

2008           Quinn Clair (Baseball)              Majida Fazal (X-Country, Track)

2009           Miles Wallace (Wrestling)          Chloe Redman (Tennis)

2010           Demian Nelson (Diving)            Alex Ramirez (Softball)

2011           Nic Lalanne (Water Polo)           Kaysea Woods (Soccer)

2012           Malte Kramer (Basketball)          Ensley Allmon (Volleyball)

2013           Spencer Silva (Water Polo)                  Julia Mills (X-Country, Track)

2014           Geoff Merker (Wrestling)           Karissa Sternfels (Water Polo/Swim)

2015           John Sinclair (Wrestling)   Molly Casey (Water Polo/Swim)


Gruetzmacher Wins George Silveria Career Award

SAN LUIS OBISPO (May 12, 2015) - The George Silveria Student/Athlete Career Award was established in 1966 by the Booster Club Board of Directors. The award was to honor and serve as a memorial for George Silveria. George was a graduate of San Luis Obispo District Junior College in 1948. He was the captain of the Championship football team in 1947, he was an executive member of the student body, and he was a very good student and was extensively involved in the community. He was well respected by his teammates, coaches, teachers and fellow peers. He truly exemplified the meaning of student/athlete. George served in World War II and died of Leukemia in 1961. The award has been given annually and from 1966 to 2002 as the Cuesta Athlete of the Year Award. Cuesta began giving a men and a women’s award in 1978 and did so until 2003, when Cuesta established the Outstanding Athlete of the Year Award, which left the George Silveria Award to stand on its own as a career award. It was decided that the merits emphasized by the award were not restricted by gender and the athletic department returned to only one award per year. This is the 50th year of Cuesta College Athletics and the 50th year of the George Silveria Award.
The award takes into consideration the student/athletes’ career as an athlete, their involvement in the college and community, sportsmanship, citizenship, coachabilty and leadership on and off the field. In a sense, this award exemplifies type of athlete we strive to mold here at Cuesta.
The 2015 George Silveria Athletic Career Award winner is water polo and swimming Star Rachel Gruetzmacher (Atascadero HS).
Rachel was named to the Western State Conference First Team twice in water polo and was also the Team MVP both years. She also earned All State Second Team honors as a freshman and moved to the All State First Team and All American as a sophomore. She is recognized as one of the top water polo plays in the state and one of the best in Cuesta history. She ranks second all time with 185 goals and is among the all time leaders in nearly every statistical category. Coach Pete Schuler says, “Rachel is the greatest female aquatic athlete in Cuesta History, and she is nowhere close to her potential. Rachel is a fierce competitor and a student of the game. I am both her coach and a huge fan and look forward to watching her take on new challenges at DI”
Rachel was almost more dominant in swimming, where she set nine school records and holds a spot in Cuesta’s All Time Top 10 in four other events. She was Team MVP in both years of swimming and was the Western State Conference Swimmer of the Year in 2014, as well as the conference’s leading point scorer both seasons. Rachel never lost a race at either of her conference championship meets. She is also a seven-time individual All American and ten-time relay All American. She was a two-year starter for the Cougars and ranks among the all time leaders for career scoring and rebounds. Coach John Marsh says, “Rachel is the best female swimmer in the history of the program. She has rewritten the record books in her two years here and it has been an honor to be her coach.”
Rachel has been a star in the classroom. She is a two-time all-Western State Conference Academic selection and owns a 2.9 GPA at Cuesta College.
She will transfer and play water polo at Long Beach State next year.

George Silveria Career Award

1966 Ray Sayler, San Luis Obispo (FB, MBB, BB)

1967 Mark Anderson, Atascadero (MXC, MTF)

1968 Jim Sunderland, San Luis Obispo (Wrest)

1969 Richard Abney, Arroyo Grande (FB, Wrest)

1970 Steve Mowrey, Morro Bay (Golf)

1971 Larry Ramos, Morro Bay (FB, Wrest)

1972 George Palmer, Atascadero (Wrest)

1973 Camillo Alarcio, Arroyo Grande (FB, Wrest)

1974 Paul Kinne, Paso Robles (FB, BB)

1975 Rusty Kuntz, Paso Robles (FB, MBB, BB)

& Dave Rusco, San Luis Obispo (MBB, BB)

1976 Kevin Hunstad, Arroyo Grande (FB, Wrest)

1977 Randy Roeder, Paso Robles (FB, BB)

Male                                                       Female

1978 Edmund Alarcio, Arroyo Grande (FB, MTF) Laura McCarthy, Bakersfield (WXC, WTF)

1979 Shawn Kuhn, Morro Bay (MBB, Golf) Celeste Martyn, Arroyo Grande (WXC, WTF)

1980 Steve Mitchell, Paso Robles (MBB, MTF) Catherine Belcher, La Canada (WXC, WTF, SB)

1981 Gregg Fambrough, Santa Maria (MWP, MSD) Joanne Cooper, San Bernardino (VB)

1982 Tom McKeown, Cape May, NJ (MXC, MTF) Heidi Hausner, Santa Ynez (VB, WSD)

1983 Matt Armbruster, Paso Robles (MXC, MTF) Karen Canfield, Santa Maria (SB)

1984 Bill Lucia, Santa Maria (MWP, MSD) Toni Venturini, Paso Robles (VB)

1985 Sean Chambers, Sacramento (MBB, MTF) Kelly Buzza, Arroyo Grande (WXC, WTF)

1986 Hank Peterson, Fairfield (MWP, MSD) Tracey Ross, Benicia (WXC, WTF)

1987 Karl Blum, Fullerton (MWP, MSD) Cathy Jones, Arroyo Grande (WXC, WTF)

1988 Todd Bates, Orofino, ID (MWP, MSD) Jennifer Bland, Davis (WSD)

& Kelly Porter, Santa Maria (MWP, MSD)

1989 Brad Dodge, Torrance (MT) Vanessa Hornbuckle, Ventura (VB, WBB)

                                                 & Kathryn Krieger, San Luis Obispo (WXC, WTF)

1990 Steve Long, Lompoc (MWP, MSD) Monica Castro, San Luis Obispo (WT)

1991 Dean Jefferis, Paso Robles (MWP, MSD) Melissa McCormick, Hemet (WSD)

                                                   & Cee Cee Yancy, Fresno (WBB)

1992 Geoff Bradshaw, Los Angeles (MTF) Alyssa Van Schmus, San Marcos (WTF)

1993 Kipp Ortenberger, Woodland Hills (MXC, MTF) Erin Breeze, Sonora (VB, WBB)

1994 Kipp Ortenberger, Woodland Hills (MXC, MTF) Wendy Ward, Ventura (VB, WBB)

1995 Mike Barrow, San Luis Obispo (MWP, MSD) Courtney Peters, Yuba City (WT)

1996 Shannon Lamb, Porterville (MWP, MSD) Carrie Musolff, Cayucos (VB, WBB, WT)

1997 Marco Hanlon, Irvine (BB) Anicia Bonds, Morro Bay (WBB, WTF)

1998 Mark Merlo, Clovis (MWP, MSD) Ashley Messer, Auberry (VB, WBB)

1999 Chris Lund, San Luis Obispo (MWP, MSD) Ashley Messer, Auberry (VB, WBB)

2000 Sergio Reyes, Los Osos (MXC, MTF) Mary Benson, San Luis Obispo (WWP, WSD)

2001 Patrick Furelos, Miami Beach, FL (MWP, MSD) Melinda Flores,  (WXC, WTF)

2002 Doug Leach, Santa Ana (MWP, MSD) Courtney Christy, Lodi (WWP, WSD)

2003 Katie Dacus, Lompoc (WWP, WSD)

2004 Christina Reyes, Los Osos (WXC, WTF)

2005 Bryan Etnrye, Huntington Beach (MWP, MSD)

2006 Chris Stehula, Arroyo Grande (MXC, MTF, MSD)

2007 Becca Reyes, Los Osos (WXC, WTF)

2008 Ian Starkie, Arroyo Grande (MWP, MSD)

2009 Tammy Barksdale, Atascadero (WWP, WSD)

2010 Kayla Cribbs, Sutter Creek (VB, WBB)

2011 Evan Norton, Paso Robles (MWP, MSD)

2012 Alexandria Bernard, Porterville (WWP, WSD)

2013 Erin Casey, Coarsegold (WWP, WSD)

         & Matt Giancanelli, Sacramento (MWP, MSD)

2014 Riley Cooks, Coarsegold (VB, WTF)

2015 Rachel Gruetzmacher, Atascadero (WWP, WSD)


Wrestling Coach Joe Dansby Repeats as Coach of the Year

SAN LUIS OBISPO (May 26, 2015)- Cuesta Wrestling Coach Joe Dansby has been recognized as the 2014-15 Cuesta College Coach of the Year. He is the first three-time winner of the award and first coach to be honored in back-to-back seasons.  Dansby led his grapplers to the 2015 SouthEast Conference title and seventh place at the CCCAA State Wrestling Championships, which were held in San Luis Obispo at Cuesta College. The Cougars did not finish lower than 4th place in any of their six tournaments and boasted a pair of tournament titles posted.  The grapplers posted a 9-6 record in dual meets, including a perfect 3-0 against the SEC.  Coach Joe Dansby was named 2014 SEC Coach of the Year, marking the fourth time he has received the honor.  Four members of the team earned All-SEC First Team, while three others earned honorable mention, and six placed at the state meet, including All America Connor Pollock.  This year’s team also set a school record with 297 individual wins, easily surpassing the previous program record of 270 set just last year.

This award recognizes the highest level of coaching achieved at Cuesta College during a year of competition.  It was first officially presented in 2009.  The award is based on a mathematical formula that weighs a coach’s individual performance as well as the on-field success of his/her team.   Coach Joe Dansby, for the second straight year, edged 2010 winner Rusty Blair.

Cuesta Coaches Award

Cuesta College Coach of the Year (est. 2009)

2014-15 Joe Dansby, Wrestling (Conf. Champs/ 7th State)

2013-14 Joe Dansby, Wrestling (Conf. Champs/ 6th State)

2012-13 John Marsh, Men’s Swim & Dive (Conf. Champs, 4th State) 

2011-12 Brian Locher, Women’s Cross Country (3rd Conf/ 4th State)

2010-11 Joe Dansby, Wrestling (Conf. Champs/ 5th State)

2009-10 Rusty Blair, Men’s Basketball (Conf. Champs/ Playoffs)

2008-09 Mike Napoli, Women’s Tennis (Conf. Champs/ 4th State)

Cuesta College


Athlete of the Month

April 2016


Ande Miller



            Cuesta College Athletics Department is proud to announce this month’s selections for the Cuesta Athlete of the Month.  This distinct honor recognizes two Cuesta College Athletes each month during the school year who have performed to the highest standards in their sport.  Our female selection for April is sophomore Swimmer Ande Miller.


All American Ande Miller is part of five Cuesta swimming records and earned all-Conference honors in the 500-Freestyle, 1650-Freestyle and 400 Individual Medley and led Cuesta to 5th place at the 2016 Western State Conference Championships with a team-high 47 individual points. She also qualified for all three events at the 2016 CCCAA State Swim & Dive Championships. Miller holds Cuesta's 400-Individual Medley record at 4:58.36 and the 200-Breaststroke mark at 2:41.18. She also ranks 5th all time at Cuesta in the 1650-Freestyle (19:09.07) and 8th in 500-Freestyle (5:26.51) and was part of five All American relays in 2015, including record marks in all three freestyle relays.  

Swimming finished 6th at the 2016 Western State Conference Swim & Dive Championships and advanced two swimmers to the 2016 CCCAA State Swim and Dive Championships.     



Cuesta College


Athlete of the Month

April 2016


Neil Uskali



            Cuesta College Athletics Department is proud to announce this month’s selections for the Cuesta Athlete of the Month.  This distinct honor recognizes two Cuesta College Athletes each month during the school year who have performed to the highest standards in their sport.  Our male selection for April is sophomore Pitcher Neil Uskali

Sophomore Neil Uskali has developed into one of the State’s most dominating pitchers. He combines an explosive pitching repertoire with pinpoint control. Uskali was at his best during the month of April, he was a perfect 4-0 with a 1.04 ERA in 33 innings, including a complete game shutout over Ventura. His big month also include double-digit strikeouts in all four starts, against only a pair of walks.   Uskali’s development this year has been astronomic. He hurled only three innings as a freshman in 2015, yet is 7-1 with a 1.92 ERA in 65.2 innings of work this year. He also owns a near 25-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio with 73 punchouts and only five free passes on the year.

Baseball won the 2016 Western State Conference Championship and the #6-seed in the 2016 CCCAA State Baseball Playoffs. They ended the regular season with a 25-11 record.