In some ways, Anthony Keriotis has changed in his four years as a standout sprinter at Beaver Area High School.
In his first race as a freshman in 2010, Keriotis was determined to make a name for himself right from the get-go.
"I wanted to go out there in the first meet and show people how I was going to do. I wanted to prove I was the best out there," Keriotis recalled.
His "over-enthusiasm" led to a hamstring injury that plagued him throughout that season.
In the two ensuing seasons, it was more of the same. Keriotis pushed himself so hard early in the season that his times didn't improve to the level he expected, and that pesky hamstring problem continued to reappear.
Now a senior, Keriotis knows Father Time isn't on his side, but for a change, Keriotis is not in such a rush to hit his peak.
"I know where I'm at and know what I can do," Keriotis said confidently. "I just want to pace myself, and when it really matters, I know I can do my thing."
Considering his success up to this point in the season, Keriotis believing he has yet to reach his ceiling is pretty scary.
One thing that has not changed for Keriotis over the years is the fact that he can flat-out sprint. Already the school record-holder in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, Keriotis is performing at a high level once again.
Entering this week, Keriotis owned the top reported times in both the 100 and 200 in WPIAL Class AA.
Beaver's first-year track coach, Jason Gallagher, had spent the past 12 seasons as an assistant at rival Beaver Falls. Gallagher was already well aware of the talent Keriotis possessed prior to taking the Beaver job, but Gallagher has since gained an even better appreciation of Keriotis' talents.
"He's very impressive," Gallagher said. "He's a leader on and off the track. If you ask him to do anything, he'll do it. It's impressive to see how that kid works."
Entering this week, Keriotis had not lost in the 100 or 200 yet this season. He's run a 10.9 in the 100 and 22.7 in the 200. Keriotis also runs on Beaver's 400 relay team -- along with Zeesha Braslawsce, Sam Loza and Julian VanDusen -- that has run as fast as 44.5, second-best reported time in WPIAL Class AA.
And then there's the long jump, an event Keriotis doesn't have a lot of experience in and even said, "I still don't know what I'm doing."
Keriotis has jumped 20 feet, 63/4 inches. Only three WPIAL Class AA athletes have a better mark.
Keriotis placed fourth in the 100 and 200 at last year's WPIAL Class AA championships. He ran an 11.37 in the 100 and 22.99 in the 200. His career bests are a blazing 10.6 in the 100 and 22.1 in the 200.
"The thing is, I don't think he's at top speed," Gallagher said.
Keriotis, who said the 100 is his favorite race, admitted that slow starts have held back his times from being even faster. But once he gets going, he's a blur. And when he gets to those final 50 meters, he's just about impossible to track down.
An outstanding all-around athlete, Keriotis started at cornerback on Beaver's football team this past fall, helping the Bobcats reach the WPIAL Class AA quarterfinals.
Keriotis' sister, Lia, is a sophomore on the Beaver girls track team and one of the top high jumpers in Class AA.
As his outstanding times suggest, Anthony Keriotis will be one of the favorites to capture gold medals in the 100 and 200 at next month's WPIAL championships.
"I don't mind the pressure from others," he said. "I don't mind being the guy that everybody is getting after."
Keriotis is hoping to shine when it matters most, and winning WPIAL and possibly PIAA titles would do exactly that.
"My goal is to win WPIALs and I think I have a pretty good chance to compete for first place in the state," Keriotis said. "My goal in the 100 is a 10.4. Whatever happens in the 200, happens. But I definitely want to win the 100."