Ferris, a senior, qualified for Class 3A cross country as a sophomore and junior and for 3A track as a junior. He has signed to run at Friends where he plans to major in elementary education.
You played football until seventh grade, was it an odd transition to cross country?
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“It was odd, and it was a little scary because I didn’t know what I was doing. I was young, so I was probably thinking that I’d go hang out with some friends. But then I got in cross country and started competing — I’m really competitive — and I started getting in the top 10, top 15 my first couple races. I knew if I trained, I could be good. I grew to love it. After the first two years, I had breakout seasons. I loved it after how much training I put in.”
Does anyone else in your family run?
“Both my parents were in rodeo. My sister (Aubrey), she rodeos, too. She also does track. I rode horses when I was little, 10 and under. I always played football, though, because I was still really into sports.”
You’ve had some struggles in the postseason, including in cross country regionals in the fall.
“I was top 10, about to make state in cross country. I was sitting third place with 40 meters left, and my body collapsed of heat exhaustion. I didn’t finish the race. Forty meters from finishing third and making state.”
Didn’t you have something similar happen before?
“It did, my sophomore year of track. I made state my sophomore year of cross country, so it gave me a lot of confidence in track. Two hundred meters left in the two-mile (in regionals), I was in fourth, and I collapsed. My legs gave out and I lost all feeling in my legs I collapsed and was so weak. But I tried crawling and couldn’t use my legs. They carried me off.
“The one at regional cross country was a lot worse. I blacked out for about 30 minutes. I was talking and everything, but I don’t remember anything. All I was remember was waking up in the ambulance.”
How has this affected you mentally?
“Cross country means everything to me. I wanted to make state so bad. I knew I could. I should have started walking. I was only 40 meters away. I would have made state walking the last 40 meters.
“It has pushed me a lot through the winter. I want to make state track and redeem that. I was pretty angry. I was really disappointed. It’s my senior year. It was hard. I don’t know. Maybe I should have gotten another Gatorade in. It was really hot that day. Maybe I could have done things differently to finish the race.”
What have you done differently this season?
“Coach has me on a tougher running schedule, more miles. I’m ahead of where I was last year at this time, by a lot. I’m just always training.”