S everal moments into last Thursday’s Adirondack League Cross Country Championships, Whitehall’s PJ Ferguson found himself running from an unfamiliar position, from behind.
However, it didn’t take long for Ferguson to gain ground and several hundred yards into the race he had moved into the top three and by the halfway point he led the race as he cruised to a first place finish and Adirondack League individual championship on Oct. 27 at Queensbury High School.
“This was my major goal all season. I’ve been waiting for this meet the whole year. It’s really cool to win,” said Ferguson. “Last year I got second place and the person who beat me was a senior so I kind of get why he beat me. It feels good to come back and win this year.”
Ferguson completed the 3.1 mile race in 17:47.35, 19 seconds faster than second place finisher John Ferrone of Lake George. Dan Jardine from Lake George finished third.
Corinth won the overall team championship behind three top ten finishers. Whitehall finished fourth as a team.
Ferguson, a sophomore will compete in tomorrow’s Section II Championships at Spa Park in Saratoga.
He fared well at the course during the Greenwich Invitational on Oct. 15, finishing in seventh place against runners from much larger teams.
The top ten runners in the race all finished within a minute of each other.
Ferguson said he isn’t looking to win necessarily, but would like to finish well enough that he is invited to the State qualifiers.
The top five runners not on the winning team are given a chance to qualify for the state meet.
Despite very cold temperatures and breezy conditions at the Adirondack League Championships, Ferguson shaved nearly 45 seconds off his time from a year ago.
“It was very cold so my time wasn’t quite as good as I thought it could have been, but everyone was dealing with the cold,” Ferguson said.
He fell behind the lead pack at the beginning of the race, but quickly made up the time.
“I was in the top three 250 yards into the race and had the lead about halfway. The first mile there was a couple of kids behind me and it was very close at the two mile mark but then they started to fall back,” Ferguson said.
The win continued an impressive season for Ferguson. He’s won every dual meet this season and has fared very well in the larger meets as well.
Ferguson earned Adirondack League All-Star honors on the virtue of his top 14 finish.
Tyler Sweenor and Toran Tracy finished in 19th and 22nd place, respectively for Whitehall.
Joining Ferguson as Adirondack League All-stars were Taryn Tracy and Victoria Koeble.
Tracy finished 11th with a time of 25:35, while Koeble finished 13th with a time of 26:07.
Tracy has had a very good season for Whitehall, consistently finishing within the top ten at dual meets while Koeble has emerged as a future star in her freshmen year.
Megan Erickson won the girls race as North Warren captured the girl’s title. Whitehall did not have enough runners to qualify as a team.