Ryan Gregory has been described as a mature and persistent individual who has demonstrated the same level of commitment as an athlete as he has as a scholar. Ranked at the top of his class academically, he has grown as a leader and to become a role model for his peers and younger students.
He says that sports have been critical to his growth as a person. He started out in elementary school playing basketball, soccer and baseball, following a family tradition of competitive athletes. In middle school, he began running “for fun,” and hasn’t looked back since.
“I love sports so much and they’re vital to my identity and a way to escape stress,” he says.
As part of the varsity cross-country team for four years, Gregory has achieved many accolades, including serving as the captain of the boys’ team and being part of a team that won state championships twice.
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“I’m fortunate to be around other guys who love the sport so much and compete at high level,” he says. “I’ve also been fortunate to have such a good coach to support me.”
He says the bond he’s formed with his teammates will remain with him well past high school, and has been the highlight of his athletic career.
“Having the team atmosphere in cross-country and track helped me become a better leader,” he says.
He considers being the captain of the team a highlight, especially helping connect the boys’, girls’ and JV teams.
Cross-country coach Kevin Eager says Gregory was “quickly identified as the newcomer with the most potential” as a freshman but he had to work through some challenges to become an elite athlete. Despite some setbacks, instead of quitting, Gregory pushed even harder.
“Rather than struggle with adversity, he used it as a springboard for excellence,” Eager says. “As a senior, he was voted captain and I constantly heard younger athletes saying ‘it’s been a fun year’ and attributing that to Ryan’s leadership.”
Gregory says he has fun helping others, which is why he is active with the National Honor Society and frequently tutors his friends.
“It makes me happy to see others succeed partly because of the help I give them,” he says.
While taking many advanced classes, Gregory has maintained a perfect GPA. He attributes his success to his family, teammates, classmates and coaches, who all pushed him to do better.
“They inspire me when I see them do great things,” he says.
Gregory hasn’t selected a college yet but he plans to study engineering and run on the team.
“I think engineering will be the best way to give back to community and use the skills I’d enjoy,” he says.
Education: Senior, Gig Harbor High School
Parents: Dan and Susan Gregory
Activities/Achievements: 9 AP/Honors classes; ranked No.1; AP Scholar Award; WIAA Outstanding Scholastic Award; President’s Education Award Program Outstanding Academic Achievement; Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders delegate; varsity cross-country Freshman of the Year, state champion team (twice), 6th place 4A state meet, 1st Team All-State, 13th at Nike Northwest regionals, team captain, various championships; varsity track distances captain; Tide Award, Leadership Award, national champion team member; National Honor Society; tutor;
Favorite teacher: Dennis Johnson, AP chemistry and physics, “because of his ability to simplify complex ideas to help all students succeed in the classroom.”
Best thing about high school: “the community built between he students, teachers and administrators, which encourages everyone to pursue their own interests and support each other.”