Contact: Adam Woullard (312-729-3627)

CHICAGO (January 17, 2013) — In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Brent Demarest of Porter-Gaud School as its 2012-13 Gatorade South Carolina Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year. Demarest is the first Gatorade South Carolina Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year to be chosen from Porter-Gaud School.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the racecourse, distinguishes Demarest as South Carolina’s best high school boys cross country runner. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year award to be announced in January, Demarest joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Ryan Hall (1999-00, 2000-01, Big Bear HS, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Kevin Garnett (1992-93, Maudlin HS, S.C.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.) and Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.).

The 5-foot-9 junior 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.

Also a track and swimming standout, Demarest has maintained a 4.05 weighted GPA in the classroom. 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.”

Demarest will begin his senior year of high school this fall.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Demarest joins Gatorade South Carolina Boys Cross Country Runners of the Year Roland Hakes (2011-12 & 2010-11, Dutch Fork High School), Aaron Ramirez (2009-10 & 2008-09, Woodmont), and Luke Lovelace (2007-08, Chapin) as athletes who have won the cross country award since its inception in 2007.

To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit www.gatorade.com/poy.