We conclude our 2011 cross country coverage by honoring the top male harriers of the season. Congratulations to our 2011 All Flrunners Boys Cross Country Team.
Boys Runner Of The Year: Elliot Clemente - Belen Jesuit - Sr. - Over the course of the year Elliot Clemente was the most consistent individual and number one runner on a Belen Jesuit team ranked in the top ten nationally. Clemente finished second at the Flrunners.com Invitational and Pre-State, but bounced back with an impressive 15:05.99 to claim his first individual state championship and lead Belen to their fourth title in five years. He was a 2010 Foot Locker National Finalist and 2011 Nike National Finalist. At the Nike Southeast Regional he ran the second fastest time ever on the Wake-Med course in a personal best 14:58.50 as Belen advanced to the team championship in Portland, Oregon. Clemente finished his season with a 20th place showing against the nations' best. He will run next year for the University of Florida.
Andres Arroyo - Colonial - Jr. - One of two juniors on our list Arroyo had a breakout junior year. At the beginning of the season Coach Placensia knew he would be good but I'm not sure if he knew he'd go under 15 minutes. Arroyo started off the season with a runner-up finish at the UF Invitational and then a stellar fourth place showing up in North Carolina at Great American. The junior then shocked many people when he upset Clemente in the final stretch at Pre-State winning in an incredible time and personal best of 14:59.18. One month later he continued his success at Little Everglades Ranch winning the 4A State Championship in 15:13.74, twenty-four seconds more than the nearest competitor. That marked the first state title for Arroyo and helped guide the Grenadiers to a team title. For Colonial High School which opened in 1958, it was their first state championship in any sport.
Ryan Gousse - Trinity Prep - Sr. Ryan Gousse capped off a solid career with the Saints by winning his first individual state championship. Gousse beat out teammate Daniel Salas by 10 seconds to claim the 1A title. The team then went to North Carolina for Nike Southeast where the senior placed 9th individually out of 255 runners in a personal best time of 15:31.00. Unfortunately for Gousse the top five individuals not on team advancing got the opportunity to run at Nike Nationals. In addition to his individual championship, Gousse finished inside the top 20 at all four of his state meet appearances, and was a part of two team championships for Trinity Prep. He will run next year for William & Mary.
Daniel Moore - Holy Trinity - Sr. - Over the summer Coach Doug Butler said his squad was one of theh deepest he has had and to watch out for Daniel Moore because, "he was going to shock some people this year." The Holy Trinity senior did just that when put up the fastest time of any male runner in 2011. His time of 14:57.60 to win the prestigious Great American Cross Country Festival was also a new course record for the event beating out the likes of Alan Webb and former Florida greats Armando Del-Valle, Ryan Deak, and Brian Atkinson. Moore placed third at the 1A State Championship and helped give Holy Trinity the team title. Moore has committed to Duke University.
Chris Godwin - Buchholz - Sr. - Chris Godwin didn't get the attention of some of the others in this group over the course of the season, but the Gainesville Buchholz star let his actions on the cross country course do the talking. Godwin finished fifth at Pre-State and continued to peak at the right time. At the 4A state meet he finished second behind Arroyo and carried that momentum into the Foot Locker South Regional where he ran the best race of his high school career. The senior ran a 12 second personal best time of 15:10.00 to finish 11th, the highest of any Florida male in the race. He thought he had just missed the cut for a trip to San Diego, but when another runner was unable to make the trip Godwin made the quick trip out west to race against the top kids in the country. He finished 39th and said he wouldn't have missed that experience for the world.
Max del Monte - Chamberlain - Sr. - Although del Monte is homeschooled he follows Mark Parrish as the next great runner to come through through the Chamberlain program. At the beginning of the season del Monte wasn't focused on the competition, but simply being the best and running his race, and peaking at his appropriate time. Known for finishing out the season strong the senior did just that placing second at state to Clemente in what he told reporters afterwards was a "man's race." Leaving it all out there is exactly what del Monte did finishing in 15:28.38. At Foot Locker South he dropped his time by six seconds and crossed the line as the second runner from the Sunshine State in 19th place. He has a personal best time over his four years of 15:03.71 that he ran at last year's Flrunners.com Invitational. Max plans on making his college decision in the coming weeks once the holiday break slows down.
Carlos Miranda - Palmetto Ridge - Jr. - The second of two juniors on the list Miranda had an excellent 2011. Miranda placed first in smaller races this year and finished third in three of the biggest races, Flrunners.com Invitational, Pre-State, and States. The only runners to beat him this year were Georgia State Champion Josh Brickell, Clemente, Arroyo, and del Monte. Miranda stood with the leaders for the beginning of those races and really showed toughness and endurance.One of his favorite sayings is, "nobody works hard to make excuses." He has a personal best time of 15:17.71 and with Clemente and del Monte graduating, Miranda looks to be one of the frontrunners for the 3A title in 2012.
Thomas Howell - Niceville - So.
Mac Reynolds - Nease - Sr.
Billy Anguish - Winter Park - Sr.
Avery Lopez - Belen Jesuit - Jr.
Quincy O'Connor - Celebration - Sr.
Thomas Christenberry - Plant - Sr.
Aaron Rojas - Estero - Sr.
Mark Mutz - Lakeland Christian - Sr.
Garret Westlake - P.K. Yonge - Jr.
Bert Irigoyen - Ransom Everglades - Sr.
Daniel Salas - Trinity Prep - Jr.
Mitchell Moore - Olympia - Sr.
Michael Babinec - Riverview - Sr.
Joshua Pelletier - Palmetto Ridge - Sr.