Forest Hill’s Isaias De La Puente named cross-country runner of year

  • David Brousseau
  • Special to The Post
5:00 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 Sports
The Palm Beach Post’s 2017 boys cross country runner of the year, Isaias De La Puente, a junior from Forest Hill.(Photo contributed)

2017 PALM BEACH POST BOYS CROSS-COUNTRY ALL-AREA TEAM

RUNNER OF THE YEAR

Isaias De La Puente, Forest Hill, Jr.

Why: Finished third at the Class 4A state championships with a personal-best time of 15:44.47. Was regional winner at 16:22.47 and district winner at 16:19.11. Also won second consecutive county championship at 16:28.15.

What was the highlight of your season? When the doctor told me I’ll be able to run again.

When did you first start playing your sport? When my athletic director told me to come out because he saw that I would have a great future in the sport of running.

What are your college plans? Honestly, just to be able to go to a great college and run for them would be an amazing experience.

Who is the athlete you most admire, and why? I would say Stephen Curry, because in college, his school (Davidson) wasn’t recognized at all for basketball and for him to make a name for it and put it on the map just shows a lot of what he’s capable of. And for him to nearly take his team to the Final Four in 2008 was an incredible achievement.

What is the song that gets you most pumped up before a game? “Plane Jane” by Asap Ferg.

What’s your favorite social media tool and why? I would say Snapchat, because I’m always on it.

What was your favorite movie this year? “Justice League.”

COACH OF THE YEAR

William Mitchell, King’s Academy

Had a strong team of runners that led to a fifth-place finish at the Class 1A state championship. Impressive improvement after finishing 24th in 2016. Lions also were district champions and regional runners-up.

FIRST TEAM

Joseph Aymonin, St. John Paul II, Sr.: Finished second at districts (16:44.20) and followed that by finishing ninth at regionals (18:23.46) and was 43rd at state (17:23.25). Was 10th at the county meet (17:26.01).

Houston Barenholtz, Spanish River, Sr.: Played an important role in leading the Sharks to country, district and regional championships. Best time of the season (17:10.76) came at the Class 4A state championships.

Justin Bridgewater, King’s Academy, Sr.: Finished 19th at the Class 1A state finals with a time of 17:01.27, while helping Lions finish fifth.

Mason Colby, Palm Beach Central, So.: Had a strong season in first year of cross-country. Had a personal best of 16:55.52 at regionals. Was third at districts with a time of 16:59.63.

Cameron Dunn, King’s Academy, So.: Ran a strong time of 16:48.10 to finish third at the region meet. Followed that by finishing 21st at the Class 1A meet at 17:02.30, while helping team finish fifth.

Christopher French, Spanish River, Sr.: Was Sharks’ top runner, finishing second at country meet (16:55.88) and districts (16:47.43) and sixth at regional (16:48.03). Also helped Sharks to a country title.

Joseph Lamarre, John I. Leonard, Sr.: As a first-time state qualifier, he finished 63rd with a time of 17:02.47. Was sixth at district meet (17:05.93) and 14th at regionals with a personal-best of 17:00.91.

Samuel Munera, Jupiter, Jr.: Ran a personal-best time (16:31.68) to finish as a two-time district champion. Was fourth at region (16:41.42) and 51st at Class 4A state (16:54.51). Placed fifth at Spanish River Invite (16:41.98).

Gavin Ross, Palm Beach Central, So.: Ran a personal-best of 16:37.05 at districts. Was 62nd at Class 4A state meet (17:02.26). Finished seventh at the county meet (17:24.62) and second at Park Vista Invite.

HONORABLE MENTION

American Heritage: Nathan Lott; Atlantic: Bernard Bradley; Boca Raton: Carson Lyttle, Naji Wehbe; Cardinal Newman: Jean-Paul Nosacka; Dwyer: Ryan Kerr; Jupiter Christian: Josh Skielnik; King’s Academy: Jacob Dillistin, John Preischl; Lake Worth Christian: Mark Grinage; Oxbridge Academy: William Boynton, Kurt Taeger; Palm Beach Central: Evan Garner, Joshua Ortiz, Caiden Routhier; Palm Beach Gardens: Stephenson Fleuriot; Park Vista: Devon Mack, Patrick O’Sullivan; Seminole Ridge: Albion Chance, Kody Phelps; St. Andrew’s: Ian Noble; Spanish River: Isaac Leb, William Noonan, Sam Rosenthal; Suncoast: Ryan O’Neill; Wellington: Dwight Smith.