What does a 6-foot-6, 220-pound track athlete eat? Well, if you’re Kord Ferguson, one of the nation’s top prep throwers, “what I want, and a lot of it”.
When Ferguson isn’t downing his favorite foods, spaghetti and hamburgers, find the Wichita State-bound senior working to improve his No. 9 national ranking for discus and shot put. Ferguson, who won the Class 4A state titles for discus and shot put last season, wants to be No. 1 this season.
The Ottawa (Kan.) senior dropped a conversation about what else he fancies, why track outweighs playing on the gridiron and navigating the recruiting process as a two-sport athlete.
You’ve said you like football, but you love track. Why is track more important?
Ferguson: I really like that it’s an individual and team sport. Not just one person affects the team, but you can also really help your team.
As a two-sport athlete, you drew interest from top programs. Tell us about getting so much attention.
Ferguson: It was a surprise. On a scale of one to 10, the recruiting process was definitely a 10. I felt blessed to have a lot of great programs wanting to talk to me. But it takes so much time from you – it’s a different world and at times it was very stressful.
How did you organize your materials and correspondences?
Ferguson: I’ve kept every letter in a bin in my house, and I’ve organized each one by school. I’ve kept every email in a folder [online]. It’s motivation. I don’t know what I have in store in the future, but someday if I have kids I’d like to show them. It’s a neat deal.
You’ve said your last meal on earth would include aslab of ribs and a Dr. Pepper. Are either integrated in your diet when you’re preparing for competition?
Ferguson: One of my favorite quotes is, ‘why run and puke when you can throw and eat?’. Basically, I eat what I want, and a lot of it. I enjoy it very much. My favorite foods to eat during the season are spaghetti and hamburgers, brats and hot dogs – I love anything grilled.
At the state meet in 2012 you finished second to Baldwin’s (Baldwin City, Kan.) Dayton Valentine. What did you learn learned from that experience?
Ferguson: In no way did I think I was the best thrower at the time, but I learned a lot from him. We’re actually pretty good friends. Seeing him succeed in something I want to be successful in, too, drove me to a new level and made me want to work harder. He was one of my biggest motivations.
What made that rivalry with Valentine significant?
Ferguson: There has to be wins and losses – it’s not a true rivalry if one person always wins. With Dayton Valentine and I, you didn’t know whose day it was going to be. That made it good. It keeps you on your toes – and definitely makes it fun.
Before you go to WSU next fall, what would most satisfy your senior year?
Ferguson: I’ve got my eyes on the all-time Kansas best for the shot put, which is 69-2, but I’d like to hit at least 70 feet. For discus, I’m looking pretty high – I’d like to set the national record. I want to be number one in the nation.