The Gatorade State Boys Cross Country Runners of the Year were selected based on athletic production and impact in the 2015-16 season. Each winner also demonstrated high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership.
For the complete list of Gatorade State Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: D.J. Principe
School: La Salle Academy (Providence, R.I.)
Position: Distance Runner
Weight: 135 pounds
Athletic achievement: The returning Gatorade State Runner of the Year, he earned All-American honors this past season by placing 17th at the Nike Cross Nationals Final with a time of 15:28.50. The winner of the All-State Meet and the Class A Meet, Principe did not lose to an in-state opponent this fall. He also took third at the NXN Northeast Regional championships in 15:52.3.
Academic excellence: Principe has maintained an A average.
Exemplary character: In addition to volunteering at multiple area road races, including the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, he has participated in food drives for the needy on behalf of his church and as a mentor to prospective La Salle students.
“D.J. Principe is a great talent. His work ethic, dedication and drive make him one of the most dominant runners in Rhode Island history,” said Tom Kenwood, head coach of Cumberland High. “He has that extra gear which leaves his competition in the dust.”
THE FUTURE: Principe will begin his senior year of high school this fall.