Saturday, September 20, 2014

Thrower’s record year capped by top honor

By CLINTON DICK, Herald Staff Writer | 6/20/2014

Another banner soon will hang in Ottawa High School’s gym.

For the second consecutive year, Kord Ferguson was named the Gatorade Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year for Kansas, capping his stellar career at OHS as a shot put and discus thrower.

Another banner soon will hang in Ottawa High School’s gym.

For the second consecutive year, Kord Ferguson was named the Gatorade Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year for Kansas, capping his stellar career at OHS as a shot put and discus thrower.

Ferguson, who signed with the Wichita State track team in February, completed his senior year by setting records in both events at the 4A state championship meet in late May in Wichita. His throw of 206 feet, two inches in discus was an all-time record at the 104-year-old meet, and his shot put throw of 64-7.5 feet was a 4A state meet record.

Ferguson also had season bests during the 2014 season of 210-3 in discuss and 67-10 in shot put, which ranked No. 2 in the nation at the time of his selection for the award, according to a news release on Gatorade.com

Evan Shaffer, OHS throwing coach, said coaching Ferguson was easy because he did so much of the work on his own, and compared him to several of his previous record-setting OHS athletes.

“He studied a lot of film, and his work ethic is just unbelievable when it comes to track and field,” Shaffer said. “He really put in the time, maybe better than any athlete I’ve ever coach and I’ve coached three really good throwers. They were all kind of the same mind set, they wanted to get better. Obviously this year we expected great things and [Ferguson] didn’t disappoint anybody.”

Shaffer previously coached the likes of throwers Caleb Blakesley and Kearsten Peoples at OHS. Blakesley is the current 5A state meet record holder in shot put with a distance of 63-6.75 he set in 2005, and Peoples set 4A state meet records in the girls shot put with a distance of 51-10.75, and discuss with a distance of 166-7 in 2010.

It is difficult to see Ferguson’s athleticism leave OHS, Shaffer said.

“Definitely we are going to miss that kind of a throwing,” he said. “I’ve coach for about 27 years, and three times I’ve said that I’m not sure if I’ll ever have a thrower like that again ... and I’ll say it again, I’m not sure if I’ll ever have another thrower like that again.

“He works so hard in the weight room and on his technique. He got everything he could get out of high school in those two events.”

Brad Graf, assistant principal and activities director at OHS, said a banner recognizing Ferguson’s accomplishment will be hung at a later date at the school, 1120 S. Ash St., Ottawa. The honor reflects Ferguson’s work ethic, Graf agreed.

“It’s a very strong testament to his efforts and abilities and his dedication to the weight room, as well as the technique and the skills necessary to compete in both the shot and the discus,” he said.

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