On Feb. 8, during the halftime of the Cabrini men’s basketball game, a banner and a plaque were awarded to Tony Gregory, Cabrini’s first National Collegiate Athletic Association Champion in Division III for indoor triple jump.
Cabrini chose to honor Gregory, despite the fact that he is no longer enrolled as a student at the college.
Tony Gregory, a native of Levittown, Pa., showed champion-like promise in 2003 at Pennsbury High School where he helped his team capture the Pennsylvania State Track Coaches Association indoor title, taking away a gold medal along with his relay team. Later, as a senior, he earned Suburban One League outdoor titles in the 100 meters and the triple jump.
After graduation, Gregory decided to follow in his athletic brothers’ footsteps to Lincoln University. But one day at practice, Gregory hurt his knee and was only able to compete in one meet. After his injury at Lincoln, Gregory decided to enroll at Cabrini for several reasons.
His decision to transfer came partly from wanting to be closer to home and to experience the hands-on coaching that he would receive from being a part of a smaller college team.
With a strained hamstring all season, Gregory had not yet qualified for the NCAA championships as the Eastern College Athletic Conference championships were taking place. Gregory needed to reach the NCAA qualifying standard of 45 feet and 11 inches and did so on his last jump.
With the rest of the season coming down to this last jump, Gregory launched himself down the runaway ending 14 inches beyond his previous best. It was now Gregory’s time to compete for a national championship.
On March 11, 2006 Gregory’s determination paid off. He upset the favorites to win the men’s triple jump at the NCAA Division III indoor championships.
Not only did Gregory win the Eastern College Athletic Conference with a final leap of 47 feet, but now he is able to wear his gold medal around his neck whenever he wants.
Gregory said, “I thought I would be a student here at Cabrini to accept this, but we are trying to work out the money issue to get me back here. It’s just great and I hope I can come back.”
President Antoinette Iadarola, who helped present the award, said, “This is an awesome honor for Tony, for his family and for Cabrini College.”