Like everyone else, I was simply shocked at the news today. Words cannot describe the loss that our sport has suffered. Sitting around my apartment alone this evening has really gotten me down so I decided to sing my praises like so many others have already. Although my encounters with David were few, I will never ever forget them. When Kim first came one the scene in 1999 rumors had surfaced that South Alabama had acquired a Kenyan that was the next Henry Rono. "Just like the 10 other Africans that join the NCAA every year," I thought. Little did I know that by the end of his short career he would be 6 time NCAA champ (and make it look like a jog the whole way). I found out the hard way how just how good, and how tough, he really was when he blasted me (in one of my best 3ks) at his first NCAA Indoor Champs. For those who heard the story about Kim walking me down three weeks later in a DMR at the Alabama Relays while running 3:52 (the day after a solo 13:24), I am proud to say is totally true. Simply put, the most amazing weekend I have ever witnessed in Track and Field. I lost a lot of sleep over that one.
I was so pleased to find out that Kim was transfering to Alabama his sophmore year because I knew what the impact a competitor like him would bring to the teams atmosphere. Everyone soon found out that Kims competitiveness was not the only thing he brought with him. Loyalty, honesty and teammanship were just a few of the contagious traits that he brought to Tuscaloosa. You never heard him complain, even in the heat of a workout and he always had a smile on his face no matter how hot and tired he was. Everytime he finished an interval he would jog back and chear on the rest of the team no matter what. He was always concerned about helping get the most out of each and everyone of his teammates. For those who were not blessed to get to watch Kim run, I can tell you that he was one of the smoothest runners I ever saw. His talent was limetless, and I truly believed he would be a sub 13:00 guy his first year out of school. Unfortunately he was plagued by injuries the last few years, which makes what he has accomplished even that much more impressive. Most of his collegiate races were won on guts and talent, not the conisistent hard training that so many others reqiure to be at the top. Don't get me wrong, Kim worked his ass off, which also shows the strength of his character. He never took his talent for granted and was always working to get better. His goals were much bigger than the NCAA Champs and it makes me so sad to know that we have lost a man that would have been a contender at the 2004 Olympics, possibly with an American jersey on.
But I would be doing Kim injustice if all I talked about was his athletic achievements. David was one of the most upbeat, positive and selfless people that I ever met. You would be hard pressed to ever hear something negative come out of Kim's mouth. He always took the positive out of every situation, no matter what. David was a rare human being that made this world a better place. He was a wonderful ambassador for a sport that is hurting for the type of positivity that David brought to the track. Being part of the Alabama family just makes this all that much more difficult. I hope this message gives all those who never met David an idea of the kind of person that he was. I only scratched the surface. For those who did have the pleasure of knowing Dave, I am sure can attest to everyting I have said 100%. My prayers go out to his friends, family and ecspecially his wife. May God bless his soul.