You would never guess by watching him perform, that Porter-Gaud's multi-talented star athlete Brent Demarest is highly competitive.
ALL-LOWCOUNTRY BOYS TRACK AND FIELD TEAM
Honorable Mention: Greg Casselman, Hanahan; Terrell Venning, Wando; Austin McCray, Pinewood Prep; Brandon Mullins, Stratford; Christian Widenhouse, Bishop England; Dolan Owens, James Island; Stephen Gillette, Fort Dorchester; Peter Pinkney, Wando; Joe Siegwald, Palmetto Christian; Mitch Hogan, Palmetto Christian; Ben German, Palmetto Christian; Hayden Dibona, Academic Magnet; Aidan Hekker, Porter-Gaud; Mason Hazel, Pinewood Prep; Brendan Ward, Porter-Gaud; Roderick Britt, Woodland; Dominique Green, Hanahan; Jacob Salley, Porter-Gaud; Quan Wade, Hanahan; Christian Furmanchik, Bishop England, Grant Kelley, Hanahan.
His stoic facial expression never changes, even after the competition is complete. Focused, driven and striving for excellence are ways that Demarest has been described by his coaches over the years.
JUNE 12: Boys Tennis
JUNE 13: Golf
JUNE 14: Girls Lacrosse
JUNE 15: Boys Lacrosse
MONDAY: Girls Track
TUESDAY: Boys Track
WEDNESDAY: Girls Soccer
THURSDAY: Boys Soccer
SUNDAY: Athletes of the Year
"I try not to show emotion but I am a very competitive person at everything I do," said Demarest recently. "To be a high-level athlete, you have to have that competitive fire inside. I have it but I don't let others see it. Whether I win or lose, I try to be the same person."
As a high school athlete, Demarest has not experienced losing very often.
His focus and drive have helped him become the most decorated distance runner in state history, at any level. The Post and Courier 2014 track and field male athlete of the year closed out his prep running career by winning three individual gold medals at the SCISA state track and field championships, raising his career total to seven. He is the state record holder in three events (800, 1600 and 3200-meter runs).
Demarest also captured four consecutive gold medals at the state cross country championships in the fall, posting a state record time of 14 minutes, 46 seconds last fall.
When compared to other eras in all classifications of public and private schools, Demarest has run the third-fastest 3,200 (9:04) in state history, the second-fastest 3,000-meter run (8:29), and his time last year in cross country was the third-best ever in state history.
Demarest also won seven individual state titles in swimming, raising his gold medal count to 18. Swimming, he says, was actually his first love.
"I began swimming when I six and I have always loved the water," says Demarest, who will run cross country and track at the University of Virginia next fall. "My mom was a runner at UConn and she got me started running in the seventh-grade. It was kind of natural for me. I loved it right away."
He has combined the running and swimming excellence to become a competitive triathlon competitor, which he competes nationally in during the summer. He competed in Dallas, Texas, a few weeks ago and is headed to Monroe, Washington in a week. Last summer he was the top US finisher the junior elite world championships.
"It's a lot of hard work but it's good training and it's fun to compete," said Demarest.
So, what does a driven, hard-core high school athlete do for fun? One might think it's training and competition 24/7. Demarest says he tries to remain a typical teenager.
"I like to hang out and I love fly fishing," he said. "After I train, I want to be out on the water, wake boarding with my friends, or fishing. I don't like to be bored."
The Post and Courier's boys track coach of the year is Hanahan's David Pratt, who led the Hawks to the Class AAA state title this year. Pratt got standout performances at the state meet from sprinters Samuel Denmark and Kahlim Denmark and from hurdler Greg Casselman, who won the 400-meter hurdles and ran with the Denmarks and Andrew Conyers on the victorious 4x400-meter relay team. Throwers Dominique Green and Quan Wade had top-three finishes in the shot put and discus, as well.