TOLEDO (WTVG) - Nate Cousino is a two-time Three Rivers Athletic Conference champion.
The senior holds the Whitmer High School cross country record with a five-kilometer time of 15 minutes 12 seconds.
Now the Cousino wants a top five finish at the state cross country meet at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio.
"I guess a lot more pressure than last year where last year was just kind of go out there and do what you can," Cousino said. "This year is more gotta do a lot better."
That additional pressure comes from the Panthers taking the entire team to the state meet after winning the regional title this past Saturday in Tiffin for the first time since 1992.
"He comes to practice everyday," Whitmer head coach Jeremy Elliott said. "He's very goal oriented and he's driven. He's a blessing to have on the team. Almost like a second coach on the team."
Joining Cousino as a two-time state qualifier from Whitmer is senior David Main.
"I run with him everyday so that kind of helps speed up my workout," Main said. "I probably wouldn't run that fast everyday otherwise. He definitely has a higher standard of running so I just kind of go along with that."
Cousino played freshman football for the Panthers and he gave that up starting sophomore year for cross country. His mother didn't even attend those first meets his sophomore season because his parents wanted Cousino to continue playing football.
When 13abc caught up with Cousino at school to interview the senior about returning to the state meet, he was busy practicing at Whitmer Memorial Stadium while football practice was simultaneously taking place inside the track on the game field.
"Whenever I look back on it, I always tell myself definitely like top five greatest decisions of my entire life," Cousino said. "When I made the switch, I didn't expect to have as much success as I did. I just enjoyed running as a sport."
Cousino will run for the University of Pittsburgh next season.