Freshman Deonte’ Ferguson has been a force to be reckoned with since the moment he stepped onto the Mt. Hebron campus. He proved this when he competed in the National Track Championship in New York on March 11-13.
Ferguson has been running with Coach Teyarnte Carter for over five years, and even before he entered high school, Mt. Hebron had plans for him to be a very effective runner and play a major role for the Mt. Hebron track team, which lost 45 seniors this previous year after coming up just short of a state championship title.
In Ferguson’s first year at Mt. Hebron, he put up astounding numbers that reflected his ability on the track. Out of the seven meets in which he competed, he placed in the top 45 for every race, even with over 60 people competing in an event. He normally placed in the top 25 with the exception of the Montgomery Invitational, which consisted of more than 20 schools at the meet.
Ferguson got to this point by training rigorous amount of hours with Coach Carter from an early age of 13. While running with a summer track team, he practiced and competed with high school athletes to push himself. The main goal for Coach Carter and Ferguson is to get a scholarship and further his academic and track career.
Coach Carter said, “I don’t coach for championships. I coach for scholarships.”
Even during his first high school campaign, Ferguson was dominant throughout the entire season as he was the only freshman in the top 45 in the 500-meter dash for the entire region. He was also the only freshman in the top 25 for the 300-meter dash and contributed to the 4×200 meter relay team that placed 5th at the Regional Championships, coming up one place shy of running at States.
Though Ferguson was a stellar athlete for the Viking’s track team, the reason for him going to Freshman Nationals has to do with something he ran before even entering Mt. Hebron.
“In order to prepare for Nationals, you must train as if you’re going to qualify the first week of practice,” Coach Carter said. “You must compete hard at every meet even if you are the fastest there because at Nationals you will be running among the best in the nation.”
At Nationals, Ferguson placed as the 14th fastest freshman in the nation and the 2nd fastest freshman in Maryland.
“My mind was set on breaking Nate Gainey’s record and to run 53.00 or 52 high,” Ferguson said, claiming he was not nervous at the event.
And Ferguson did just that, breaking Gainey’s record while running a 53.04.
This is only a strong beginning to a prosperous career to come. In the eyes of Coach Carter, Ferguson is the fastest incoming freshman she has had.
“If he keeps academics and athletics first, the sky’s the limit for this young man,” Coach Carter said. “It is a pleasure to have such a talented incoming freshman class, and I cannot wait to rebuild a state championship team with these kids.”
Ferguson’s accomplishments will lead right into the 2016 Outdoor season. The entire Howard County Community should therefore watch out for this freshman on the rise.