Coach Jim Pearson
Jim has coached Cross Country and Track & Field for 44 years, 34 as head Cross Country coach at Ferndale High School, four as an associate head coach for Whatcom Community College / Pearson's Athletic Club (Harrier Track Club) and six as an assistant, including one at Mead High when they won their 15th state championship (Ranked 7th in the nation).
Pearson's athletes have qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials (10k, Marathon, 20k Race Walk), the World Cross Country Championships (twice), won three U.S. Championships (including U.S. Junior Hour Run Championship while still a junior in high school), won league, district and state titles and had 60 national qualifiers and 22 all-American honors.
As a runner, Pearson, a two time national champion, qualified for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in 1972 and 1976, set an American record for the 50 mile run in 1975
(still 5th all time), competed in four world championships, and placed in the top five in
U.S. championship races in seven of his 25 qualified competitions, his best being the U.S. national championships in the 50 mile in 1975. Having run every day for over 40 years, Pearson sees no excuse for runners skipping a practice session.
In spite of his success as a distance runner, Jim remembers when he was not a contender in his competitions. His high school times included 10.7 for the 100 yards, 55.5 for the 440, 2:17 for the half and 5:03 in the mile. As a college freshman in cross country, he ran 18:20 for three miles and as a senior ran only 16:10 for three miles on the track. He won his first marathon (2:43:40 on a course 290 yards short) at age 25. Later, changing his training to a more endurance oriented system brought about a dramatic improvement for all distances.
Jim has coached Mark Anderson, the only Washington runner and one of only six Americans including (Jon Sinclair, Duncan Macdonald, Ric Rojas and Olympians Bill Rodgers and Frank Shorter) to ever win the prestigious Bloomsday Road Race in Spokane, WA!