Penn Hills’ Gregory commits to swim at N.C. State
By: Andrew John
Thursday, May 3, 2018 | 9:33 AM
As his two older brothers enjoy collegiate swimming at LaSalle, Penn Hills junior Kimani Gregory knew he wanted to swim at the collegiate level.
Gregory, who won the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard freestyle at the WPIAL championships, verbally committed to N.C. State on May 1. According to CollegeSwimming.com, Gregory is ranked third in the state, with a No. 45 national ranking for the Class of 2019.
He chose the Wolfpack over offers from Arizona State and Ohio State, among others. He said he loved the prospect of joining a program that ranked fifth in the CSCAA coaches poll to end the season.
“I committed there because of the history of the university and the swim program. They have the best interest in their swimmers. They produce Olympians, All-Americans, national titles. Those are some of the things I wanted heading into college,” Gregory said.
“I set goals, and I'm looking forward to accomplishing those goals with my teammates and a couple of friends that decided to go there as well.”
Gregory, who visited N.C. State the weekend of April 5-8, will join a recruiting class filled with swimmers he is very familiar with, including Ross Dant (Hickory, N.C.) and Noah Bowers (Roanoke, Va.), who are ranked sixth and ninth in the Class of 2019.
“They were working for me to be a role player with a couple guys heading out in the next couple years. They're looking for my class to be a reloading class instead of a building block. It's great to know I'm part of a class that has the same goals and expectations,” Gregory said.
At the PIAA meet this season, Gregory finished second in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 48.03 seconds, which was just behind Conestoga's Brendan Burns (47.04).
In the 100-yard freestyle, Gregory finished third with a time of 43.76. North Allegheny teammates Mason Gonzalez and Jack Wright finished first and second with times of 43.03 and 43.56.
At WPIALs, Gregory defended his 100-yard butterfly title in 48.25. Gregory set a new WPIAL record in the 100-yard freestyle in 44.09.
With the college decision out of the way, Gregory can focus on academics and swimming during a pivotal summer heading into his senior year.
“Getting it done during your junior year gives you all summer to just train and make yourself better, and next year you prepare yourself for what you will be heading into for academics and athletically,” Gregory said.
Gregory will join Penn Hills senior Stephanie Sipple at the NCAA Division I level. Next year, Sipple will swim at Cleveland State.
Andrew John is a freelance writer.
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