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The Antelope

Track star Wes Ferguson has his eyes set on greatness

KYLIE SCHWAB / ANTELOPE STAFF Ferguson is one of six Lopers competing at nationals.

Over his short UNK track and field career, Wes Ferguson has broken school records in the 800-meter and 1,000-meter races, along with being a key part of the men’s 4×400 record set this season. While Ferguson has already set enough records to cement himself as one of the greats in UNK track and field history, there is still more that he wants to accomplish.

With tough competition across the board, improvement is always necessary to stay at the top.

“The level of distance running and mid-distance running in the U.S. right now is exploding in a way that it never has,” said UNK track and field coach Brady Bonsall. “He’s just part of that, right in the flow with it and within Division II he’s one of the guys that’s towards the front of it, but the goal is to be at the front of it.”

The NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships are coming up this week and Ferguson has high ambitions.

“I really have my eyes set on the title for that in the 800, so that’s really what I’m looking forward to right now,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson has continuously improved his 800-meter times, going from 1:50 in January, to 1:49.53 on Feb. 4 to his best time so far, 1:49.47 at the 2022 MIAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. His time of 1:49.47 ranks among the best in Division II this season.

“I wanna see how good he can get in the 800 because he’s been sitting on 1:49, 1:50 the entire season,” Bonsall said. “When you run 1:49, 1:50 that many times, there’s a faster one in there, but it just hasn’t happened yet.”

Ferguson’s ability to finish out races has been a major contributor to his success as well. While a lot of runners burn out down the final stretch, he shines.

“Most races, it’s what happens in the last 25% of the race that matters most and that’s really when he’s at his best,” Bonsall said.

Even though Ferguson has Division I-level talent, his decision to come to a Division II school like the Lopers has helped him take his abilities to the next level.

“I knew I’d get a lot more coaching attention versus a DI,” Ferguson said. “It’s just a smaller atmosphere so you get more one-on-one time and you get to build better relationships.”

His favorite memory on the UNK track and field team came at his last meet, when the Lopers placed second at the MIAA Indoor Championships. While Ferguson has earned multiple records and had a lot of personal success, the team still comes first.

“We placed second against a team that’s ranked first in the nation and it was our highest ranking we’ve had ever since we’d been in the RMAC (conference UNK competed in until 2012),” Ferguson said. “So, just the team performance was good all-around.”

Ferguson will look to continue making strides at the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships this Friday and Saturday.

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KEVIN BURD, Sports Edior
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