Catching up with... David Sims

Oct. 28, 2009

Swimming alum David Sims was a part of Skip Kenney's first recruiting class and helped establish the Cardinal Swimming program, which has won a record 28 consecutive Pac-10 titles and seven NCAA titles in Kenney's 30 years. Sims was a two-time Pac-10 500 freestyle champion in 1983 and 1984. In 1984 Sims set the school-record in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:18.26. Sims was a part of the 1980 U.S. National Team that boycotted the Olympics. David's son, Burke, is a freshman on the team as part of the nation's top recruiting class. Like is father, David is also a freestyler, setting the state record in the 500 out of Downers Grove North High School in Illinois. The two competed against one another at the alumni meet in October during Homecoming, here's what David had to say to


Q: Why did you choose Stanford in the first place?

A: “It was the best school I could get into. It had a history of having a couple of great swimmers in the 1970s. When Skip got the job, he sold us on building a team and it just started growing.”

Q: Are you surprised by the success that you help start?

A: “When we started the whole thing, we had no idea what it would turn into. It is a juggernaut now.”

Q: Has Coach Kenney changed at all?

A: “From what my son tells me, he has not changed at all. But I haven't trained with him.”

Q: What are you doing now?

A: “I am in commercial real estate in Chicago. Luxury resorts.”

Q: What made your son choose Stanford?

A: “When he was eight years old he told us that he wanted to go to Stanford. From that point, we did everything we could to get him to go there.”

Q: At the Alumni Meet today you swam against your son, what was that like?

A: “It was awesome. I haven't raced him since he was 11, and he beat me. I knew about this, was able to train for it and get into shape and it gave me an opportunity to be in the pool with him.”

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