LEUVEN, BELGIUM — The path David Gibson followed to put himself in the position to compete in five track and field meets this month in Belgium for Athletes in Action was a varied one. While this journey may have begun while competing for Carman- Ainsworth, Gibson parlayed that opportunity into a scholarship to Xavier University in Ohio, where he just completed his senior season running for the Musketeers’ men’s track and field team.
“I started my preparation by doing a lot of recovery. After a long track season I had to let my legs rest so I would be at 100 percent for this trip,” said Gibson. “I’ve been preparing spiritually by spending more time with God. A lot of reflection. Also reading up on Ephesians. That’s what we will be studying over there.”
With its sports-based format, Athletes in Action has been trying to, “help people answer questions of faith and to point them to Jesus,” since 1966, according to www.athletesinaction.org. The group is also a member of Cru, which is the name for Campus Crusade for Christ in the United States.
“I became involved with Athletes in Action my freshman year. From the first day I knew this group would be something I would be involved in throughout my college career,” Gibson said. “The meetings are open to anyone, we talk about how we can relate our sport with Christ. I would recommend any and every athlete get involved with Athletes in Action.”
Having left for Belgium on Tuesday en route to the Leuven City Hostle, Gibson and the Athletes in Action squad will be gone until July 28. AIA Track and Field doesn’t date back to the organization’s inception, though, instead becoming a part of the group’s worldwide efforts in the 1980s.
“Track has really helped me grow. I’ve learned so much about myself, I learned how strong I am. I can do anything I put my mind to,” said Gibson. “Dedication and determination and focus are skills I perfected through track and field. These skills are going to help me for the rest of my life be successful. Track helped me grow in my spiritual life as well. I have been able to be a blessing onto others through the blessings God has blessed me with.”
After a high school career spent dominating the rest of the Big Nine, Gibson went on to compete in 11 events for Xavier as a freshman in 2009-10 during the outdoor season. Highlights include finishing 12th in the long jump and competing with the 4×400-meter relay that came in eighth at the Atlantic 10 Indoor Championships.
“I filled out the track and field questionnaire on the Xavier athletic website. Me and my family went and visited the school and my mother fell in love with the school before I did,” Gibson said. “Xavier is a great academic school. They have great resources for athletes to be not only successful in their sport, but also in the classroom.”
Gibson then placed in the top-10 five times, including a third-place finish at the Findlay Open with a long jump of 6.55 meters, as a sophomore in 2010- 11. The Carman-Ainsworth grad also competes for Xavier during the indoor track and field season and results in 2011-12 as a junior include taking seventh in the running long jump at the Indoor A-10 Championships with a distance of 6.84m.
“My favorite quote and that has been great for my track career is, ‘Faith plus hard work equals success’,” said Gibson.
This year the former Cav capped off his college career at Xavier ‘s final A-10 meet before the entire league joins the Big East next season by finishing seventh in the 100 dash with a time of 11.09. Gibson ran the final leg of the 4×100 relay, which came in fourth by clocking in at 42.71, and the third leg of the 4×400-meter relay at that event, as well.