FALLON, Nev. (AP) - Seven years after winning his second Class 4A state title in the triple jump in record-setting fashion, former Church Hill County High School star Aarik Wilson is on the verge of achieving his lifelong dream.
Wilson will attempt to qualify for the Summer Olympics in Beijing when he competes this weekend in the U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon.
Wilson graduated from high school in 2001 and Indiana in 2005. He has spent the last four years trying to improve on his failed attempt to make the Olympics in 2004. He finished 14th last time but has been unstoppable since.
He reached a personal best in the triple jump last year when he leaped 17.58 meters as he won both national championships at the AT&T USA Indoor and Outdoor meets. He finished the season ranked fourth in the world.
Wilson says he owes it all to longtime Greenwave track and football coach Paul Orong. Orong himself participated in the 1984 Olympic Trials at the Los Angeles Coliseum where he placed 13th in the long jump. He first saw Wilson playing football and persuaded him to go out for track instead of baseball.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)