TSR's Profiles of Greatness - Kim Nutter

By: Mike Mcmillion

Kim Nutter Biography

Parkersburg/Marshall University


Kim Nutter - Kim was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia the son of the late Gary G and Anna Gilchrist Nutter. Kim participated in his first race in 1969 as a 9th grade student at Hamilton Jr। High School. After finishing 3rd in his first race ever (2:23 880), he came back just two weeks later in the Wood County Championship and ran 2:16:9 to capture the County Championship in the 880. During the summer of his junior year in high school at Parkersburg High Kim met an individual who would play an integral part in his running career. Carl Hatfield, West Virginia University's first cross-country All American took Kim under his wing and the two ran together every day. Kim's junior year at Parkersburg High he won the Regional 880 title in 2:01, then returned the following week at the West Virginia State Championships and anchored Parkersburg High to a win in the 2-mile relay with a winning time of 8:01. Kim ran his leg in 1:57. During that same meet Kim finished 3rd individually in the AAA 880.

Prior to the beginning of Kim's senior year in high school Kim approached Parkersburg High School Principal Jack Simon and requested permission to form a cross-country team. Kim was frustrated that Parkersburg High, the largest school in the state did not offer cross-country. Initially, Mr. Simon was hesitant to add an additional varsity sport, but finally relented and Parkersburg High fielded its first cross-country team in August of 1971. Longtime friend, Coach and running partner, Gary Prater served as the Coach with no additional pay. The Big Reds surprised everyone by finishing a close second to Keyser High School, with Kim winning the individual title easily and setting a state record. Kim's margin of victory, 33 seconds over a 2.1-mile course, is still the biggest winning margin ever in a West Virginia High School Cross Country championship race. Kim finished the cross country season undefeated, setting course and state records each week, including victories over the Pennsylvania State Champion and being the first West Virginia runner to win the WVU High School Invitational, a race dominated by runners from Pennsylvania. Kim was also named the Captain of the West Virginia All State Cross Country team in 1971.

In December of 1971, Kim ran the fastest mile ever for a West Virginia high school runner indoors at the University of Pittsburgh Invitational. Kim won the race in a time of 4:21:9 defeating both the Ohio and Pennsylvania state mile champions in the process.

At the Regional track meet in May, Kim again won the mile and led the Big Red's 2-mile relay team to their 2nd straight title. The following week at the State Track meet Kim, along with teammates Dale Hill, Craig Casto and Tom Jackson ran the fastest 2-mile relay ever run in West Virginia (7:55). That record, nearly 33 years old, has not been approached since. The record was officially "retired" when the state meet went to the metric distances, but even running the metric equivalent, no team has come close to the record. The very next day, Kim ran the fastest mile ever run by a West Virginia high schooler and became the first West Virginia high school runner to break 4:20 for the mile, when he ran 4:18:8, culminated by a 60 second last lap. Kim won the mile by 13 seconds, again the biggest margin ever in a West Virginia State championship race.

Kim was invited to the US Track and Field Federation National Junior Championships at Bowling Green, Ohio and placed 2nd in the mile with a time of 4:18:5 to earn High School All American honors.

As a freshman at West Virginia University he broke all the freshman distance records on the track and advanced to the finals of the NCAA Division I Championships at Louisiana State University at 6 miles, one of only three freshmen in the country to make it to the finals. Kim also made two other NCAA Championship finals, both in cross country, where in 1979 he was rated as one of the top collegians in the country while at Marshall University. Kim is the only Marshall University cross-country runner ever to have advanced to the finals of an NCAA Championship and an Olympic Trials Final. Kim still owns all of the cross-country records at Marshall University and still is the school record holder for the indoor 5000-meter (14:18). Kim initially broke the school record at 3 miles in the Southern Conference Championship in 1979, running 14:05, then returned the following year and again at the Southern Conference Championship meet, broke 2 school records on the same day. (2 mile and 3 mile) Something no other Marshall University athlete has achieved. Kim has been the Marshall University record holder since 1979 and has the oldest indoor track record currently at Marshall University.

While at Marshall University, Kim was a 6-time All Southern Conference performer in indoor and outdoor track and cross-country.

Kim also excelled in road races around the world. Kim finished 3rd in the National AAU Junior Championship at 15 kilometers in 1973 at Michigan City, Indiana, earning AAU All American honors. Kim finished 4th in the AAU 20 kilometer Championships at Gardiner, Massachusetts, behind Bill Rodgers and also made AAU All American again. In two other National Championships Kim placed 5th (National AAU One Hour run), Kim's distance of 11 miles 1396 yards is still a West Virginia record, and 10th (National AAU 25 kilometer Championship San Diego.

In April 1974, Kim placed 26th at the Boston Marathon with a time of 2:24:53. Kim, along with Carl Hatfield and Roger Rouiller, all West Virginians won the Boston Marathon team title that year running for the West Virginia Track Club. Kim went on to win several West Virginia State road running titles at 10 kilometers and 20 kilometers while a student at Marshall University.

In 1976, Kim became only the second West Virginian (with Carl Hatfield) to qualify for the finals of the United States Olympic Marathon trials, competing in Eugene, Oregon against defending Olympic Champion Frank Shorter and American recorder holder Bill Rodgers. Kim is only one of four West Virginians (Carl Hatfield, Chris Fox and Steve Taylor) ever to compete in the Trials.

In total, Kim has appeared in 10 USA National Championships, more than any Marshall University runner in history. Kim remains the only Marshall University runner ever to have participated in both an NCAA final and an Olympic Trial Final.

With over 35 years of running experience, Kim has had time to mentor and teach younger runners. One of those runners, Chris Parsons, ran with Kim daily while at Marshall University. Chris reaped the rewards of Kim's running knowledge and Chris has coached Cabell Midland High School to 6 West Virginia State AAA Championships using the techniques he and Kim utilized while training together in Barboursville, West Virginia.

Kim retired from the United States Marine Corps in June of 1999 where he served his country for over 28 years, to include combat in the Persian Gulf in 1991. Kim was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon for action against enemy Iraqi forces and also received the Southwest Asia Service Medal with 3 campaign stars. Additionally, Kim received the Kuwait Liberation Medal from Kuwait as well as similar awards from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Kim was honored into the Marshall University M Club for his track and cross-country accomplishments while at Marshall. Kim passed away on November 15, 2004.


Kim Nutter biography compiled by Mike McMillion

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