Hunter Appleton of Brother Martin has been selected as the 2018-19 Gatorade Louisiana Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, according to a Monday news release.
The award recognizes athletic and academic excellence, as well as exemplary character on and off the field. As the Louisiana winner, Appleton is now a finalist for Gatorade's national award to be announced later this month.
Appleton is a 5-foot-8, 135-pound senior who won the LHSAA's Class 5A individual title last season, breaking the tape on the 3-mile course with a time of 17 minutes, 59.40 seconds while leading the Crusaders to a second-place finish as a team. Appleton clocked the fastest 3-mile (a personal-best 14:52.61) by a Louisiana runner last fall. He won seven of the eight races last fall and was also the state’s top finisher at the Nike Cross Nationals South Regional championships, placing 17th with a time of 16:25.09.
A National Merit Scholarship semifinalist, Appleton is a member of the Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society.
“Hunter Appleton is very simply the most motivated and responsible student-athlete I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with,” Brother Martin coach Drew Haro said. “His natural abilities coupled with his work ethic make for a combination found very rarely in young people his age. Hunter’s external achievements and accolades are simply tangible signs of the successes he has already reached internally. If he’d never achieved these accolades, he would still be the same excellent young man that he already is.”
Appleton has maintained a weighted 4.32 grade-point average. He has signed a scholarship with Colorado to compete in cross country and track and field.
Appleton joins recent New Orleans state award winners Adam Wise (2017-18, Fontainebleau), Eric Coston (2016-17, St. Paul's), Devyn Keith (2015-16 and 2014-15, John Curtis) and Zachary Albright (2013-14, St. Paul's School) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007.