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Walt Murphy's News
Last Updated: June 2, 2003

Memories from Penn
John Gregorek

As mentioned in the "Murphy Legacy", this is the 25th Anniversary of St.Anthony's win in the high school distance medley. John, now an assistant coach at Brown, anchored that team and also anchored the Georgetown dmr team that won in 1982, breaking Villanova's 16-year winning streak in that event

"I had run the 2-mile in 1977(he finished 4th), but we were a group of starry-eyed kids going in there the next year. Trenton's Aubrey McKithen, who would be my roommate during our freshman year at Georgetown, had a big lead on the anchor, but I just took it one lap at a time and was able to catch him"(with a 4:06.5 anchor).  St.Anthony's time of 10:02.5 estblished a meet record.

"One of the reasons I chose Georgetown was to help bring the program to the next level--Villanova was already established. Villanova's streak was daunting, but we thought we could beat them in 1981."(Gregorek actually had the lead with a lap to go before being overtaken by Sydney Maree, who extended Villanova's dmr streak to 16.).

"The next year, coach (Joe) Lang was so positive and had us mentally prepared."

(Ross Donoghue, who had transferred to Villanova from St.John's, was given a 30-meter lead as the anchor leg began, but within two laps, Richmond, Arkansas, and Georgetown had caught up to him.) "I had no intention of going by Ross when I caught him--I wanted to make sure I had a kick left. With 200 to go, I just put my head down and took off, passing Donoguue down the final stretch. Winning that race ranks right up there with making the Olympic team"(1984-steeplechase). (Aubrey McKithen ran the 400 leg for the Hoyas).

"I credit my coaches, Don Buckley(St.Anthony's) and Joe Lang(Georgetown), with making the whole Penn experience a fun one. It helped take the pressure off the races themselves. I love the history and tradition of Penn and the fact that I've been able to bring my 11-year old son the last three years."