David Wilson gets one chance to qualify for USA Track and Field Championships

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NEW YORK — Former New York Giants running back David Wilson‘s one and only shot to qualify for the USA Track and Field Championships in the triple jump comes at the Adidas Grand Prix on Saturday (NBC, 1-3 p.m. ET).

His goal at his first track meet in four years is to jump more than half a foot farther than his personal best from 2011 and earn a spot in the U.S. Championships field in two weeks in Eugene, Ore. Next year, he wants to make the three-man Olympic team and win a medal in Rio de Janeiro.

Wilson, who was forced to retire from football at age 23 last year due to spinal stenosis, said he’s getting his feet wet in Saturday’s meet in the same city where he played two NFL seasons.

“I always put football first, even in college when I was running,” Wilson, who added he’s down to 189 pounds after playing in the NFL at 210, said Thursday. “Only time that track was first was meet days, when there was a track meet. Same thing in high school.”

The meet at Icahn Stadium on Randalls Island is his only chance to reach the U.S. Championships qualifying standard of 16.30m.

Wilson’s personal best from Virginia Tech was 16.20m.

At least 15 athletes (plus Diamond League winner Christian Taylor, who has a bye into the World Championships and doesn’t have to triple jumpm at Nationals) have jumped 16.30m in the qualifying window, combining USATF and IAAF lists.

If fewer than 18 athletes reach the U.S. Championships qualifying standard, the next best jumpers will be added until the field hits 18. So Wilson could make Nationals if he jumps slightly shorter than 16.30m.

Wilson said he hopes to jump 16.40m Saturday, but he also promised his father he would jump 55 feet (about 16.76m) for Father’s Day.

“I will consider it successful and a win if I left the track Saturday and was qualified for USAs,” said Wilson, who trains with Olympic silver medalist Will Claye.

Wilson hoped to compete at a meet in Chula Vista, Calif., last month but said he suffered a right hamstring strain on a training jump. Wilson said he feels 100 percent now and said his longest jump in training, while doing an eight-step run-up versus 12 for competition, was about 15.5 meters.

The top three finishers at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials are in line to make the Olympic team. The third-ranked U.S. triple jumper the last four years leaped 16.98m (2015), 17.10m (2014), 17.22m (2013) and 17.07m (2012).

Wilson said he missed football “like you being in love with a girl and she breaking up with you.”

“I haven’t competed in anything since football,” Wilson said. “I was playing people in pool, cards, Uno, Connect Four to fill the void.”

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Valencia Marathon produces historic times in men’s, women’s races

2022 Valencia Marathon

Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum and Ethiopian Amane Beriso won the Valencia Marathon and became the third-fastest man and woman in history, respectively.

Kiptum, a 23-year-old in his marathon debut, won the men’s race in 2 hours, 1 minute, 53 seconds. The only men to ever run faster over 26.2 miles are legends: Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge (2:01:09 world record, plus a 2:01:39) and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele (2:01:41).

Kipchoge made his marathon debut at age 28, and Bekele at 31.

Beriso, a 31-year-old whose personal best was 2:20:48 from January 2016, stunned the women’s field Sunday by running 2:14:58. The only women to have run faster: Kenyans Brigid Kosgei (2:14:04) and Ruth Chepngetich (2:14:18).

Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey finished second in 2:16:49, the fastest-ever time for a woman in her marathon debut. Gidey is the world record holder at 5000m and 10,000m.

Valencia is arguably the top annual marathon outside of the six World Marathon Majors. The next major marathon is Tokyo on March 5.

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Aleksander Aamodt Kilde wins Beaver Creek downhill


BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won his second straight World Cup downhill race to start the season, despite feeling under the weather.

Although dealing with an illness all week in training, Kilde powered through the challenging Birds of Prey course Saturday in a time of 1 minute, 42.09 seconds. It was enough to hold off Marco Odermatt of Switzerland by 0.06 seconds. James Crawford of Canada was third to earn his second career World Cup podium finish.

Kilde also won the opening downhill last weekend in Lake Louise, Alberta.

“It’s been a tough week,” Kilde said after the race. “I caught the flu in Lake Louise after a very, very nice weekend. It really hit me hard. Then I got a couple of days to rest and take it easy. … I felt OK. Still feeling it a little bit in my system.”

The Beaver Creek crew members had the course in solid shape a day after a downhill race was canceled due to high wind and snowfall.

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Kilde reached speeds around 75 mph in picking up his eighth World Cup downhill victory. That tied him with Kjetil Jansrud for the third-most downhill wins in the World Cup discipline among Norwegian men. The total trails only Aksel Lund Svindal (14) and Lasse Kjus (10).

“I found a really, really good set-up with my equipment and also with my skiing,” Kilde explained. “I believe in myself. I trust in myself. I have a good game plan. When I stand on the start, I don’t dwell on anything. I know that this plan is what I do and when I do that it’s going to be fast.”

Odermatt has been on the podium in all four World Cup races this season as he tries to defend his overall World Cup title. The 25-year-old finished third in the opening downhill of the season last weekend. He’s also won a giant slalom race and a super-G.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle wound up in seventh place for the top American finish. He was ninth in the downhill in Lake Louise.

“It’s been solid,” Cochran-Siegle said of his strides in the discipline. “A couple of little things here and there that pushed me off that top three. You have to ski with a lot of intensity and ski without abandon, in a sense. Today was a good step.”

Switzerland’s Beat Feuz, who won the Olympic downhill gold medal at the Beijing Games last February, tied for ninth.

The Beaver Creek stop on the circuit comes to a close Sunday with a super-G race. Odermatt will be the favorite after holding off Kilde in the opening super-G last weekend.

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