BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Whether he's in the classroom or on the track, Lancaster senior Armani Merlino doesn't give anything less than his best.
"He doesn't accept anything less than excellence," indoor track coach Kevin Carriero said. "And, I think that's why he is where he is right now."
With a GPA that surges past 100, Armani is currently ranked second in his class with a schedule full of AP courses. Even with a heavy academic load, Armani knew at a young age he wanted to challenge himself in the classroom and on the track.
"During middle school I couldn't run track or cross country, even though a lot of my friends were because I was taking a math class at UB. I thought it was really fun," Armani said. "When I'm a freshman I'll go and sign up for that. And, I did."
And the rest as they say, is history. After winning the Section VI Cross Country Championships this year, one of his proudest accomplishments
"I've never lost to the same person in the section more than once," he said with a smile.
"He signs his name next to everything," added Carriero. "When he's taking an AP test, be wants to do the best he possibly can. When he steps to the start line, you can bet there is no middle of the road there."
Next year, he'll be staying close to home, having signed his national letter of intent to run at the University at Buffalo.
"I've been to UB's campus dozens of time and it feels like home to me. I just have pride to say, 'I'm a Buffalo Bull.'"