KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Keith Griffin III has the need for speed.
"I've always known I wanted to be number one," Griffin said. "I don't like people being better than me, so I will come out here everyday and work my hardest."
The Blue Springs High School junior backs up his talk, according to his teammates and coach.
"He's extremely dedicated," Head Coach Ben Licklider said. "He puts in a lot of hard time and effort into his craft of running the 400."
He recently ran the fastest open 400 time in the state this season, finishing with a time of 48.37 seconds.
"I didn't know, I did not know until I was like, wait," Griffin said. "And we did it in Kirkwood and I'm from St. Louis, which is pretty cool."
The Griffin family moved across the state for Keith's two younger sisters, both talented gymnasts.
The sisters have bright futures in the sport and needed to train at a specific local gym in the Kansas City area.
"They are very high level gymnasts, so I think he (Keith) is, it's just the competitiveness like with the siblings rivalries," Licklider said.
Griffin agreed with his coach, saying everything is a friendly competition in the Griffin house.
"We each count our letters that we get from coaches," he said. "We argue every week about who is gonna be the best athlete."
A time under 49 seconds in the open 400 meters will be hard to beat, but so is an Athlete of the Week award.
The trophy is something Keith can hold up high at the dinner table tonight.
"I can't wait to tell them," he said. "They can't have all the shine."
Griffin will race in the district track and field meet this weekend at Blue Springs South High School.
He hopes to advance to the state high school meet and race to a state championship victory in the open 400M run.