Samson Kimobwa, who set a world record at 10,000 meters and was part of Washington State’s renowned line of great Kenyan distance runners, died last week in Nairobi, where he was a high school teacher. He was 57, and had complained of a stomach ailment.
Kimobwa ran at WSU in the late 1970s alongside Henry Rono, and won the NCAA 10,000 championship in 1977. Weeks later, he set his world record at the distance by clocking 27 minutes, 30.5 seconds at a meet in Finland – a record that stood for a year until Rono broke it.
Inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame this past fall, Kimobwa (also known as “Kimombwa”) was a nine-time All-American and three-time Pacific-10 champion.