Win every thoroughbred horse race and it's a triple crown. Reach each base on separate at-bats in baseball and it's a cycle.

So what's it called when someone aces all of their standardized tests? Whatever the name, Gautum Mereddy is it. Duluth East's king of the ACT and SAT received perfect or near-perfect scores on all five of the tests he took.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

"I was super excited, called my parents, (and said) 'Yo, I got this score,'" Mereddy said, "like woah."

It wasn't superstition or aligning of the stars that yielded the senior his printed perfection. It was simply "a lot of studying." Even so, with the weeks of preparing in advance for test day, he never saw a perfect score on the practice exams he took.

For all that academic excellence he was rewarded however, ask Mereddy what he thinks of the tests in the first place and he shrugs off their significance.

"It's just a number in the end," he said.

Mereddy doesn't hold standardized testing in high regard. "There's more to a student than just some test numbers and whatnot," he said. That doesn't mean he thinks one should brush off trying to do your best. "If you're going to do anything, you should try to do it to the best of your abilities."

What Mereddy is best at is chemistry. It's given him a good introduction into the world of public health and medicine - a field he hopes to enter one day.

"It gives you a good foundation for getting into medicine," he said. "I also have an interest in communication as well, since that's not as well regarded aspect of medicine, even though it's integral to it."

It's why when Mereddy decides on a college he wants - and there are many he's considering - he wants a strong focus on STEM, with a potential minor in communication. While he's always enjoyed the sciences, it's his recent research that's given him an appreciation for strong communicative skills.

He has three academic articles published, with a fourth that's been approved for publishing. Currently, Mereddy has been diving into the world of drug repurposing, trying to find whether the treatment for malaria could be effective for cancer. He conducts this research in a lab at the University of Minnesota Duluth with a professor and graduate students.

"I got my inspiration from my parents because they are also involved as professors at UMD," he said. "I got to see their work at an early age."

His mom teaches chemistry and his dad teaches pharmacy. Even with their emphasis on the fields of science, Mereddy, an only child, said they've been largely hands off on his education. And through that freedom, he took his own initiative in school and volunteering.

Accompanying his recent academic accolades are a 4.0 GPA, qualifying scores on three Advanced Placement courses and a list of volunteering options.

"I've been doing a lot of health care-related volunteering. The combination of (the) science behind it and the social interactions with the doctors and patients - I just think it's rather interesting," he said.

Mereddy has committed time at St. Luke's and Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center, the Chris Jensen Health and Rehabilitation Center and the Damiano Center.