Former New York Giants running back David Wilson came up short of his expectations during the triple jump at Saturday’s Adidas Grand Prix in New York, his first professional organized track and field event.
Wilson, who turns 24 on Monday, retired from the NFL before last season due to spinal stenosis. Two doctors advised him to no longer play football, so he turned his athletic endeavors toward track and field, which he competed in collegiately at Virginia Tech. In 2011, his 53-foot, 1.74-inch jump for the Hokies ranked sixth nationally.
Wilson had set a goal of 55 feet for Saturday’s triple jump, but finished ninth with a 47-foot jump. He was also nursing a right hamstring injury and told NJ.com that the extra weight he has from his football career was a contributing factor.
Wilson’s movements were significantly more mechanical than some of his more experienced competitors like Cuban Pedro Pichardo and Wilson’s U.S. training partner Will Claye. He said the extra weight that he was carrying from his football days (he said he weighed in at 196 pounds, five or six pounds lighter than he wanted to be) didn’t serve him particularly well in an event where it pays to be light—Claye and Pichardo tip the scales at 161 pounds and 156 pounds, respectively.
“It felt awkward having that much speed, and I’m still on the heavy side, so adding that speed that I’ve never felt before, coming down I felt two times the weight that [I was] anyway,” Wilson said.
Pichardo won the event with a jump of about 57.6 feet (17.56 meters).
Wilson said he plans to compete again on Sunday as he attempts to qualify for the U.S. championships.
Several of Wilson’s former Giants teammates showed up to support him on Saturday.
Wilson also shared some reactions of his own on Twitter after the event.
I'm not proud about my performance today but it was my first comp. I learn from every experience. Win lose or just plain bad I get hungrier— David E. Wilson (@4stillRunning) June 13, 2015
I jump further than that in practice from six steps but back to the lab learn to control my speed— David E. Wilson (@4stillRunning) June 13, 2015
I jump again tomorrow after talkin to my coach I had to much speed no control at that rate we are gonna try again from 8 steps like practice— David E. Wilson (@4stillRunning) June 13, 2015
- Mike Fiammetta