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Swimming

Penn Hills' Gregory brothers earn PIAA medals

| Friday, March 24, 2017, 11:25 p.m.

Penn Hills' Gregory brothers had a pair of top-10 finishes at the PIAA Class AAA swimming championships March 18-19 at Bucknell. However, they felt like they still could have had better performances.

The younger Gregory brother, Kimani, was able to bounce back from a disappointing finish in the 100-yard butterfly by placing second to North Allegheny's Max Gonzalez in the 100 freestyle in 44.57 seconds.

The 1-2 finish was the same at WPIALs as Gonzalez took home the state title in 43.62.

Kimani finished ninth in the 100 butterfly in 50.61. He hopes to improve on his stroke count to ensure he will perform better next year.

“It was really crucial because I was upset and disappointed how I showed,” Kimani said. “I knew I had been in this situation before. I just had to forget it and power through thinking about negative things and getting a better attitude and going after it.”

In his last time in the pool for the Indians, senior Isaiah Gregory finished sixth in the 100 breaststroke in 56.85 and was seventh in the 50 freestyle (20.83).

He captured a WPIAL title in the 100 breaststroke and finished second at WPIALs in the 50 freestyle.

“It was bittersweet,” Isaiah said. “I would have liked to place higher, but I had fun and I medaled. It makes me even hungrier and makes me look forward to my future.” Isaiah, who was trying to set the school record (55.97) in the 100 breaststroke, will take the lessons learned to the collegiate level. He is hoping for more college opportunities to come across after his performance at states and wants to enter the legal or medical professions after school.

“You have to be strong mentally and not just physically. You have to be willing to get up from your shortcomings and be able to bounce back,” Isaiah said.

“It might be harder sometimes than other times but you just have to do it. That is what separates the champions from the average athlete.”

The boys 200 freestyle relay team of the Gregory brothers and sophomores Tommy Natalia and Glenn Hanna finished 16th (1:26.96).

On the girls side, junior Stephanie Sipple finished 15th in the 100 butterfly in 57.45.

Andrew John is a freelance writer.

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