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May 15, 2014

Fergason's dream of gold is a matter of inches

CHICKASHA —

In normal, every day life, an inch seems insignificant, like a speck of dust or a millisecond in time.

But to Hanna Fergason, such a small distance might as well be the whole world. Since track season began in mid-March, Fergason has worked tirelessly at Chickasha's Memorial Stadium to squeeze out every inch possible in the long jump, making subtle adjustments in her technique, her run-up, her landing to get that tiny bit extra that could make the biggest difference.

It's all led to the biggest leap yet in Yukon this Friday, where Fergason is a favorite to take gold at the 5A State Meet in her signature event. 

"I get in my rhythm," Fergason said. "I do the same warm-ups, the same thing every day. Even when I go to a track meet, I do the same thing, I wear the same clothes, the same everything. Because I get in my rhythm and I don't want to throw anything off."

Just a sophomore, Fergason is already up there with the state's best. She holds the longest jump at a competitive event this season, a 17' 8.5" from the Conference meet a couple of weeks ago. 

Hard to believe today that she only broke 17 feet about a month ago. It was in the familiar confines of Memorial Stadium, father Rodney Fergason looking on when she hit the mark on her first jump, a 17' 3.5".

"I remember jumping and just looking at him and saying, 'Daddy, I did it!'" Fergason said. "My dad and I have always talked about reaching 17. He pushes me a lot."

It was a far cry from Fergason's first foray into long jump as a freshman in 2013 when a coach encouraged her to compete. She recalls a bit of a stutter start, not quite taking to the sport as a fish to water. 

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