It's been a big year for the Porter-Gaud boys cross country team. The Cyclones are No. 1 in the state heading into Saturday's SCISA state meet at the Hammond School in Columbia.
Porter-Gaud's top runner, Brent Demarest, is the No. 4 junior runner nationally and No. 10 overall.
“It's phenomenal what he's accomplished,” Porter-Gaud coach Hugh Knight said of Demarest, who has the best time in the state at 15 minutes flat. “It's amazing to watch him. The bar has been raised so high in South Carolina and he's right up there.”
Cameron Cain is the Cyclones' No. 2 runner and could break the 16-minute mark on Saturday. Brendan Ward, Alex Dahlstrom and Bolton Sanford round out the Cyclones' top 5.
The Cyclones are going after their third straight state championship, but will run on a different course. The match has been held at Heathwood Hall since 2003, but has been moved to Hammond because of the University of South Carolina's home football game against Tennessee.
The game is scheduled for noon, so the meet was moved because of traffic issues.
“We've run well all year, held on to the No. 1 ranking all year and scored 19 points at our region meet.” Knight said. “I feel good about how we've trained. But it all comes down to Saturday.”
The Coaches Association of Women Sports released its all-state volleyball teams and selections for the North-South All-Star Games and the Lowcountry is represented well.
Area players selected all-state in Class AAAA are Natalie Tucker, Wando; Dekeiya Cohen, West Ashley; and Mackenzie Cooler and Jordan Franklin of Bluffton.
Colleen Cooper of Hanahan and Brantley Herrington of Hilton Head were the only local Class AAA selections.
Bishop England and Timberland both had two girls make the Class AA all-state team: Ellie James and Mary Harriet Moore of Bishop England; Destinee Wells and Jordan Smith of Timberland. Katelin Hills of Academic Magnet also was named all-state.
Shanyra Libson and Kortnee Johno of Cross were named all-state in Class A.
Local players named to the Class AAA/AAAA South all-star team include Breanna Lauer and Mackenzie Lesemann of Wando, Chiquita Rivers of Goose Creek and Abby Roulson of Bluffton.
Local players named to the South Class A/AA all-star team include Julianne Dahlman and James of Bishop England; Smith and Wells from Timberland; and Elizabeth Mappus of Academic Magnet.
The North-South games will be held Nov. 17 at Erskine College.
Bishop England catcher Cameron Garrett committed to play for Spartanburg Methodist.
He cracked the starting lineup midway through his sophomore season in 2011 and had a key role in the Bishops' march to the Class AA state championship.
He batted .340 with seven doubles and three homers. He drove in 14 runs.
He batted .247 last spring with six doubles and four homers. He drove in 20 runs.
Follow Philip M. Bowman on Twitter: @pandcphil