For a list of the other Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Brent Demarest
School: Porter-Gaud School (Charleston, S.C.)
Athletic achievement: He raced to a third consecutive South Carolina Independent Schools Association individual state championship this past season, breaking the tape in 15:40.27 and leading the Cyclones to the state title as a team. The Lowcountry Runner of the Year as named by The Post & Courier and South Carolina Track & Cross Country Coaches Association, Demarest placed 10th at the Foot Locker South Regional championships in 15:06 and finished 25th at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in 15:48. He also won the Amateur Athletic Union South Carolina District Cross Country Championships young men’s division individual state championship in 15:51.
Academic excellence: Also a track and swimming standout, Demarest has maintained a 4.05 weighted GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: He has served as part of his school’s student government and participated in the state’s Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. A member of the National Honor Society, he has also volunteered on behalf of Lowcountry Orphan Relief and as a youth swimming instructor.
“When an athlete reaches the level at which Brent competes, it goes without saying that everyone in the field is immensely talented and disciplined,” said Porter-Gaud associate coach Larry Salley. “What separates Brent and allows him to succeed even on those big stages is a combination of balance, focus and humility that is rare even among the most exceptional athletes. Brent demonstrates an incredible ability to both juggle and balance the demands of training in multiple sports, the academic demands of a very rigorous independent school, and the elements of service, family life, and fun necessary to maintain a normal life while also simultaneously competing at the highest level.”
THE FUTURE: Demarest will begin his senior year of high school this fall.