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Hawk Rojo, Bulldog Elness garner special recognition
Central Valley varsity boys cross country standout Andres Rojo has been named the Couriers Male Athlete of the Year. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Central Valley's Andres Rojo and Ceres High's Camryn Elness have been named the Courier's Male and Female Athletes of the Year, respectively, for the fall sports season.

Rojo (boys cross country) and Elness (girls water polo) enjoyed a great deal of individual and team success in 2017.

Camryn, a 6-foot-tall senior goalkeeper, made program history by being voted Most Valuable Player of the Western Athletic Conference.

"She was an amazing player," Bulldogs head coach Stephen Dias said. "I put her in the field once and she tore it up."

"I never expected that for myself," Elness said. "It wasn't a goal."

Camryn totaled 140 blocks in 19 matches.

She was selected to the WAC First Team as a junior.

Elness was the Bulldogs' goalie for three seasons.

"It's extremely challenging, physically and mentally," said Elness, who's considering joining the UC Davis water polo team as a walk-on player or doing rowing at Sacramento State. "You definitely have a lot of pressure on you."

The Bulldogs posted a 14-5 overall record and placed second in the conference standings (7-2) for the second consecutive year.

Ceres High also earned its second straight playoff berth.

"It's a huge achievement," Elness said while talking about the Bulldogs' success. "For me to be a part of it is an honor. We had great team unity."

Rojo filled a major role as Central Valley annexed its first-ever league title.

The Hawks captured the Western Athletic Conference overall championship.

Central Valley placed first at the league finals and beat all five of its dual opponents.

The Hawks posted wins against Livingston (18-37), Los Banos (15-45), Pacheco (15-70), Patterson (23-32) and Ceres High (17-54).

Central Valley finished fifth at the WAC Championships and dropped all five of its conference dual meets in 2016.

"We were able turn around the program," Rojo said. "It's still hard to believe."

Rojo made program history by capturing the WAC's individual title and winning the league's Most Valuable Player award.

Andres finished first with a time of 18 minutes, 02 seconds on the 3-mile course at the WAC Championships.

Rojo had his season cut short by hip injuries in 2016.

"It's always nice to be the first to do something," said Andres, who has yet to decide if he'll do cross country or track and field in college. "I was able to leave a mark. I wanted to bring more attention to the sport. In order for that to happen, our team needed a leader. I became addicted to running. I pushed myself to the limit. The sport isn't as easy as people think. You have to strategize. You're not just running from point A to point B. It's 90 percent mental. It's not for everybody."