It looks like Seattle Seahawks star DK Metcalf will be sticking to the NFL for now.
The wide receiver caused a stir earlier this week when he revealed he would compete in the 100m at Sunday’s Golden Games and Distance Open in California. Metcalf had hoped to earn a spot at next month’s US Olympic trials, but he finished ninth in his heat with a time of 10.37 seconds – not bad for a 6ft 3in, 220lbs football player but well short of the standard needed to compete with the fastest men on earth. “10.36 [sic] is crazy tho at that size!!,” wrote Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes on Twitter. “Mad respect! @dkm14”.
Cravon Gillespie won the race with a time of 10.11sec. NFL players often rely on speed over short bursts and the 23-year-old started respectably in Sunday’s race but faded in the last 20 meters.
“To test my speed up against world class athletes … just having the opportunity to run against these guys was a blessing,” said Metcalf after Sunday’s race. “They do this for a living. This is very different from football speed.”
Many sprinters saw Metcalf’s foray into their sport as a sideshow at best and an insult at worst. However, former Olympic sprinter Ato Boldon, who was working on NBC’s broadcast of the race, said Metcalf had performed well. “He did not embarrass himself,” Boldon said. “He hung with the pack … I didn’t think he was going to run anywhere near that well.”
Metcalf’s NFL speed was highlighted last season when he chased down Arizona defensive back Budda Baker from behind after an interception to prevent what seemed to be a sure touchdown. Metcalf made up nearly 10 yards on Baker and reached a top speed of 22.64mph in pads. He ran 108.8 yards on the play to tackle Baker short of the end zone.
“That was one of the best football plays I’ve ever seen,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said after the game.
For decades, track standouts have been challenged by the speediest athletes in other sports. Hall of Fame NFL receiver Terrell Owens tried to set up a friendly competition with 2004 100m Olympic gold medalist Justin Gatlin, who is still in elite form at 39 and among the favorites to make the US team for the Tokyo Games.