ShareThis Page
Swimming

Penn Hills' Gregory brothers claim WPIAL gold

| Saturday, March 11, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
Second-place finisher Zack Rulli of Hempfield (left) congratulates winner  Kimani Gregory of Penn Hills following the boys 100-yard butterfly event during the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships on Thursday, March 2, 2017, at the University of Pittsburgh's Trees Pool in Oakland.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Second-place finisher Zack Rulli of Hempfield (left) congratulates winner Kimani Gregory of Penn Hills following the boys 100-yard butterfly event during the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships on Thursday, March 2, 2017, at the University of Pittsburgh's Trees Pool in Oakland.
Boys 50-yard freestyle winner Mason Gonzalez (right) of North Allegheny is congratulated by second-place finisher Isaiah Gregory of Penn Hills during the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships on Thursday, March 2, 2017, at the University of Pittsburgh's Trees Pool in Oakland.
Ken Reabe Jr. | For The Tribune-Review
Boys 50-yard freestyle winner Mason Gonzalez (right) of North Allegheny is congratulated by second-place finisher Isaiah Gregory of Penn Hills during the WPIAL Class AAA swimming championships on Thursday, March 2, 2017, at the University of Pittsburgh's Trees Pool in Oakland.

Penn Hills' Gregory brothers — senior Isaiah and sophomore Kimani — headlined the Indians swim team as they each came home with their first WPIAL titles at the championship meet March 2-3 at Pitt's Trees Pool.

They and their fellow Indians will compete in seven events at the PIAA championships this week at Bucknell University.

Kimani captured the 100-yard butterfly title after a photo finish. He touched the wall 0.01 seconds ahead of Hempfield's Zack Rulli with a time of 50.17 seconds. Kimani also finished second at 44.91 in the 100 freestyle, which was won by North Allegheny's Mason Gonzalez in a WPIAL-record time of 44.17.

“I looked up at the board as soon as I finished and I heard the announcer say, ‘you're winner, lane six,' and I just went off. I have been training for this all year. It was about just believing in myself more than having negative vibes around me,” Kimani said.

“Winning by 0.01, which is by a finger nail or even less than that, just made me think if I did this and improve on my best from last year, I can do the same thing (at states).”

Isaiah won the 100 breaststroke in 57.35 to edge North Allegheny's Brett Edwards (58.52). Isaiah also finished second in the 50 freestyle (20.76), which was also won by Gonzalez (20.05).

“WPIALs was a blast, especially since it was my senior year. It had to be a good one. My motto for it was ‘Last One, Fast One.' My 50 free, I got a best time so I was really happy. I wasn't really worried about place or how I finished. I was more worried about the time itself. It just so happened that it got me second, and that's what I wanted to do and medal,” Isaiah said.

“The 100 breast was a dream come true. It was long time coming. It wasn't the best time, but it was always something I wanted to do. I wanted to win an individual and it being the 100 breast, which is my favorite stroke.”

Junior Stephanie Sipple qualified for states in both of the events she participated in at WPIALs. She was third in the 100 butterfly (57.14) and seventh in the 500 freestyle (5:08.21).

“For my 100 fly, I was a little disappointed with my time but I did get third, which meant I automatically made it to states. That's all I really had to do because I know what I need to do better to drop time in that,” Sipple said. “I will keep practicing what I did wrong, and hopefully whenever it comes down to it I will be able to carry through with those changes and drop the time I want to get.”

The Penn Hills boys 200 freestyle relay of the Gregory brothers, as well as sophomores Glenn Hanna and Tommy Natalia, also advanced to the PIAA meet after placing sixth in 1:27.45.

The Gregory brothers and Sipple have their sights on the PIAA podium.

“I would be speechless and beyond happy to be honest. It has always been something that I wanted to work toward,” Isaiah said.

Sipple added: “That would be the greatest feeling in the world to be up there. I would be able to be proud of what I accomplished because of the work I have put in this year. That will make it all worth it.”

Andrew John is freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me