Seattle Seahawks star DK Metcalf finished ninth in his heat in the 100-meter dash at Sunday's USA Track and Field Golden Games and Distance Open.
Cravon Gillespie posted a time of 10.11 seconds for first place, with Metcalf crossing the finish line in 10.36, which was good enough for 15th overall.
After the race, Metcalf noted he was thankful for the opportunity:
"To test my speed up against world class athletes like this... Like I said, just having the opportunity to run against these guys was just a blessing." @Seahawks wide receiver @dkm14 on the opportunity to race against elite track & field athletes. @usatf // #JourneyToGold https://t.co/Ob1Zr8g34s
On May 3, the 2020 Pro Bowler announced he was taking part in the event, which is one step in the process of qualifying for the Olympic Team Trials in June. Fox Sports' Emmanuel Acho shared a brief clip from a training session Saturday:
By NFL standards, Metcalf's speed is exceptional.
His 4.33-second 40-yard dash was the fifth-fastest at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine and the best time since 2003 for a player who weighed 225 pounds or more. He also maxed out at 22.64 mph when he chased down Budda Baker to prevent a pick-six last year against the Arizona Cardinals.
Sunday's race, however, pitted Metcalf against competitors who have spent years honing their craft on the track. Unlike others who made the jump to the NFL, the 23-year-old didn't even run in college at Ole Miss.
"I think his biggest issue is going to be the start," sprinter Mike Rodgers said to USA Today's Tom Schad in the buildup to the event. "Because in the 40-yard dash, you can start whenever you want to start. He's going to deal with the start, the starting blocks, stuff like that."
Renaldo Nehemiah was a competitive sprinter and spent three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. The 62-year-old made the point to the Associated Press' Pat Graham that those running against Metcalf were relishing the opportunity.
"There's not a sprinter in the world who will let this guy think he can run with them," Nehemiah said. "They will destroy him. It's a noble gesture but an exercise in futility. It really is. No offense to DK, I'm a fan of his."
If Metcalf remains committed to pursuing a track and field career, he'll have plenty of time to train ahead of the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. His more pressing concern will be helping the Seahawks defend their NFC West title during the 2021 NFL season.