Spotlight on Ferguson at district meet

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Spotlight on Ferguson at district meet

Competing in the 400, 800, and 4x400,  sophomore Jahson Ferguson is hoping to advance out of Friday's District 13-5A track meet.

Competing in the 400, 800, and 4x400, sophomore Jahson Ferguson is hoping to advance out of Friday's District 13-5A track meet.

provided by Luke Small

Competing in the 400, 800, and 4x400, sophomore Jahson Ferguson is hoping to advance out of Friday's District 13-5A track meet.

provided by Luke Small

provided by Luke Small

Competing in the 400, 800, and 4x400, sophomore Jahson Ferguson is hoping to advance out of Friday's District 13-5A track meet.

Kasey Harvey, Sports Editor

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Switching schools could have taken the next two years of boys’ track to the next level as sophomore Jahson Ferguson, formerly a Knight at Independence, is foreseen to go to state alongside previous state qualifier, senior Christian Palmer.

“It was a little rough in the beginning because I wasn’t sure what track was going to look like,” Ferguson said. “It’s definitely a lot tougher but I kinda like that because it pushes me more and gives me a stronger base work harder. Liberty’s way harder.”

Starting in middle school, Ferguson found football wasn’t his thing, inspiring him to try track.

“I really enjoy the fact that I can see visual improvements and it was really down to how badly you wanted to get the results,” Ferguson said.

With the District 13-5A meet Friday, Ferguson will compete in the 400, 800, and 4×400 hoping to meet expectations by moving on to area, region and then onto State. However, Ferguson won’t be alone with Palmer pushing him to be his best.

“He’s probably the closest person on the track team to me because with the seniors last year who left, I have kind of taken a role as a leader and he is right next under me for the next position as a leader on the track team,” Palmer said. “He is kind of like a brother. He’s always been the one that’s been pushing me and really forcing me to really try as hard as I can and I’ve been pushing him as well.”

Mimicking the dynamic of the relationship between Palmer and the 2017 seniors, Palmer has drawn the map for success for others to follow.

“It was hard coming here,” Ferguson said. “Christian kind of gave me a role model, an example that he set so I knew what was expected of me on the track and outside of the track. He really pushes me because it’s very difficult to push by yourself so we kind of push each other. Always driving to be a little bit better.”

Straying from the normal teenage mindset, Ferguson always seems to run the extra mile to achieve beyond what anyone expects.

“Everything you bring to the table, especially for him, has been about effort,” head boys’ track coach Chip Gregory said. “All about learning. He seeks out every little extra tidbit that can make him that much better. Whether that’s coming up here at seven in the morning to get an extra workout in, seeing our trainers, staying after later, taking an ice bath at home by himself. For me it’s been exciting having a kid like that. I always talk about don’t be a gazelle, be a lion. He follows that path.”

Competing at a stadium with a capacity of 20,000 people, all eyes will be on Ferguson if given the opportunity to advance to state which will be held at Mike A. Myers Stadium at the University of Austin. In the spotlight, Ferguson will be given a glimpse into track in college.

“I’m more worried about the atmosphere because it’s a lot more serious, it’s a lot more pressure,” Ferguson said. “I think I’ll be able to handle it, I just got to keep going.”

With a few colleges in mind, Ferguson has his eye on UCLA and a few other schools but will be content with any track scholarship available in the next couple years.

“I would love if a college came out here and looked at me and wanted to give me a scholarship,” Ferguson said. “That would be amazing. Just whatever happens, happens and I’ll leave it up to my hard work to decide if I run outside of high school.”