0

Jonesboro’s Ferguson looks to end track career with state title

Photo by Derrick Mhaone
Jonesboro senior Tauren Ferguson stretches before Thursday’s workout. The Vanderbilt football signee is hoping to end his track career with a state title.

Photo by Derrick Mhaone Jonesboro senior Tauren Ferguson stretches before Thursday’s workout. The Vanderbilt football signee is hoping to end his track career with a state title.

JONESBORO — Tauren Ferguson keeps replaying that race over in his head.

The Jonesboro senior analysis what he could have done better. In Ferguson’s estimation, it was one step.

But officially, Devon Williams victory in the 110-meters hurdles at the Class AAAA track and field championship was 14 100th of seconds faster than Ferguson. Williams crossed the finish line at Memorial Stadium in Jefferson at 14.18 seconds as Ferguson was a close second at 14.32 seconds.

Ferguson had to settle for second place.

“It was by a footstep,” Ferguson said Thursday following practice. “I keep going over it in my head. I play it in my head so I want let it happen again.”

And that replay serves as motivation for this season.

“I want to win it all,” he said. “This is my last year running track. I’m going for it. I know how close I was to winning it, and that is my motivation and drive.”

Ferguson also finished third in the 300 hurdles event last season. As a sophomore, he was missed the state meet with a toe injury. During his first season at Jonesboro, Ferguson was seventh in the 300 event.

Although he had better success in the 110 event last season, Ferguson says the 300 is his best event.

“Knowing my body, I feel that I’m a strong finisher,” he said. “As the race builds, I see my speed increases. I come out the curve in full tilt.”

Despite being a standout on the track, Ferguson will not run on the next level. He signed a football scholarship to attend Vanderbilt last month. The SEC school does not field a men’s track program.

“I’m comfortable with my decision to only play football at Vanderbilt,” Ferguson said. “I want to concentrate on playing football in the best conference.”

Ferguson is hoping to be the first Jonesboro track participant to win a state title since Nikki Hill won consecutive Class AAA high jump titles in 1999-2000.

Cardinals coach Tim Floyd, who also coached Ferguson in football, says his standout has the drive to reach that goal. During the early season, Floyd said Ferguson is slightly ahead of last season’s pace.

“He is in the low 14s in the 110 hurdles,” Floyd said. “You can just see how much more relaxed he is running this season.”

Ferguson doesn’t seem to be affected by the weather or the fact he didn’t get a chance to do indoor track this season. Instead of doing the indoor season, Ferguson trained for a national all-star football game in Austin, Texas during the week of National Signing Day.

In that game, Ferguson had a hit that jarred the ball loose on the opposing team receiver that made the Top 10 ESPN’s Sportscenter highlight.

Now, he wants to make some highlights on the track.

Jonesboro will compete in the North Clayton Invitational this Saturday at Southern Crescent Stadium in their first major meet of the season.

“Most definitely winning state is in his sight,” Floyd said. “I don’t think there is any pressure, but more of him being hungry, which should outweigh any pressure.”