In middle school, Nicolette Serratore spent her summers training at Methacton with varsity athletes. One of them was Ryann Krais.
Serratore watched and idolized Krais, a 2008 graduate who won several state titles and claimed the NCAA championship in the heptathlon at Kansas State in 2011.
While Serratore may not notice it, many younger members of the current Methacton team admire her in the same way.
"These kids look up to her. They see her as an unbelievable role model," Methacton coach Rob Ronzano said. "It's now the norm for kids to say, 'I can compete at a college level.' They look at somebody like her and they say, 'Wow, she's that good. Maybe I can be that good.' "
Serratore was a double winner at the Pennsylvania Track Classic at Plymouth Whitemarsh last Saturday. She won the javelin with a mark of 125-1, the third-best in the state. She also took first in the triple jump with a mark of 36-2.75, good enough for fifth-best in the state. She leads the Pioneer Athletic Conference in both events.
Serratore, who is deciding between James Madison and Virginia Commonwealth, has interest in being a heptathlete, like Krais, because of her versatility.
"[In college], I want to do the heptathlon, and I'll probably do open javelin and maybe a little triple jump," Serratore said. "Across the board, I want to help a team in as many events as I can. . . . It's a lot of work, competing in so many events. It's kind of hard, but you get used to it."
Serratore's athleticism alters what Methacton is able to do in dual meets. Depending on the meet, she also competes in the 100- and 300- meter hurdles, shot put, and long jump.
"What she allows us to do is, when you find an area that you're weak on the team and you plug in that type of athlete, they're not only competitive, they're the best," Ronzano said. "It's amazing to have those types of athletes on your team.
"As a coach, it makes life so easy. It makes winning the dual meets so much easier because you can maneuver in different spots."
Serratore said a lifetime of sports - she started gymnastics classes around the age of 3 - coupled with rigorous offseason training have helped her get through meets, where she often competes in five events.
"I never really get to sit down, so I never get a break," Serratore said. "Being a multisport athlete for so long has helped me a lot [with] the mind-set you have to be in to do multiple events. It helps a lot with endurance, too."
During practice, Ronzano said, Serratore's work ethic leads the team.
"As coaches, we ask a lot of the kids," Ronzano said. "But we never ask her to do anything because she wants to do more. She wants to be the last one in the weight room, she wants to be the last one on the track, [and] she wants to make sure that she perfects her craft."