As a sophomore, Kiski Area senior Brent Kennedy placed seventh in the PIAA cross country meet, the highest finish of any 10th grader.
In 2012, he lost out on a state title by seven seconds, coming in second place.
He has one more crack at the title this season, but he'll face increased competition from within his district.
Kennedy placed second at the Red, White & Blue Classic Saturday at Schenley Park. He actually ran two seconds faster last weekend than he did when he won the event in 2012, but Fox Chapel's Colin Martin improved from 20th place to first, beating Kennedy by seven seconds.
"[Martin] definitely deserves it," Kennedy said. "He works hard and ran a gutsy race."
Colin Martin finished 16th in the PIAA championship meet last season, while his twin brother, Ethan, finished fifth. Ethan Martin took third at Saturday's Red, White & Blue Classic.
It's not the first time the trio has been 1-2-3. In the 3,200 meters at the WPIAL track and field championships this past spring, Ethan Martin took first, Kennedy placed second and Colin Martin came in third.
So it's not a surprise that the Martins will push Kennedy this season.
"During track, Ethan had my number most of the time," Kennedy said. "So to be honest, I was kind of waiting for Ethan to go after it [Saturday], but Colin was just too good. I don't even think Ethan and I had a bad day. I ran a personal best on the course."
That's despite the fact that Kennedy pushed back the start of his training this season.
He made the change so that he can be stronger when the time rolls around for the WPIAL and state meets and he'll have to match up again with the Martins and West Chester Henderson's Tony Russell, the defending state champion who is back for his senior season.
So he was happy with his start.
"For not having as much training as I had last year, and to run a better time, it's a good start for me," Kennedy said. "I'm happy with it."