Aug 7, 2013 8:13 PM by Andrew Masuda
Two San Luis Obispo High student-athletes returned home after earning medals at the 19th World Maccabiah Games in Israel. Recent graduate Ariel Becker and senior-to-be Lily McCann competed for the United States in the international event held every four years for Jewish athletes.
Becker, who was a track and volleyball star at San Luis Obispo High, won bronze medals in both the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays. Israel and Canada edged the US in both events. Becker also missed out on a third bronze in the long jump by one centimeter.
McCann played goalie for the Americans' 18-under women's soccer team that captured gold in Israel. They went 7-0 in tournament play, including a 1-0 win over Israel in the championship match.
Both girls said it was an unforgettable experience. "I got to meet people from all over the world and not only were they athletes, but they were Jewish athletes and we just had a lot in common," said Becker, who will attend Princeton in the fall and run track for the Tigers. She is a two-time Pac 7 League long jump champion and a two-time winner in the 100 meter dash. She also was a solid contributor on the girls volleyball team at SLO High.
"To be with girls that shared both my love for soccer and my love for Israel was just a really special connection," added McCann, who earned All-Pac 7 League honors last winter for the Tigers and is a member of the USA Junior Women's Soccer Team.
Templeton High senior-to-be Will Mehring was an alternate for the U.S. men's basketball team, which also won a gold medal. Mehring did not travel to Israel. He earned All-League honors for the Eagles during his junior year.
The 2013 Maccabiah Games was the largest in history with more than 9,000 athletes from 71 countries competing. The games began in 1932.
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