Ferry coming off big win at Virginia Tech

By Michelle Pope
STAR STAFF
mpope@starhq.com

   Milligan freshman track runner Josh Ferry has a lot on his mind, but not so much that he was unable to win the men's 800 meter race at Virginia Tech's outdoor track.
   Ferry, recently engaged, is busy planning a summer wedding but still has the focus and determination to excel both on the track and in the classroom.
   Having already chosen a double major in business and humanities his first year at Milligan, Ferry definitely has his hands full. However, the Indiana native pulled ahead of Virginia Tech's Duncan Vick in the last 60 meters of the men's 800 last weekend in Blacksburg, Va. to take a first-place finish with a time of 1:53.93. Fellow Buffalo teammate Jair Colley finished fifth in the same race.
   "The men's 800 was one of the more competitive events," said Milligan track and field coach Chris Layne of the meet that attracted schools such as Georgetown, Wake Forest and ETSU. "Virginia Tech had a couple of their good guys running.
   "What transpired after the gun was that he and Jair went to the front right away, but not at a brisk pace," Layne said. "About 150 meters into it, the Virginia Tech runner moved ahead and opened the gap, picking the pace up.
   "The first lap always goes a little bit faster. This time the whole race was faster. The Virginia Tech runner wanted to run fast from overhearing conversation before the race and he continued to open up with 200 meters left."
   Ferry pulled ahead with 60 meters to go, passing Vick and winning by nine meters.
   "It got off to a fairly slow start. We all stayed comfortable and didn't press until about 120 meters to go," Ferry said. "We came through the first lap pretty slow. I heard Coach yell the split and realized that it was a lot slower than I thought. (Vick) must have realized the same thing."
   Ferry first began running as a high school freshman in Bloomington, Indiana. He ran the 400 meter until his junior year, when he tried the 800 meter race and stuck with it. He was recruited to run for Milligan and has made his mark as a freshman this year. In the classroom, Ferry is hoping to use both of his majors, as he leans toward the administrative aspect of Christian ministry.
   "Josh's strong suit is his ability to finish a race," Layne said. "What I'm trying to educate him on is that running 800 meters, these guys will go through 400 meters much faster. It will be tough to run them down in a big scale competition."
   In just one year, Layne has seen Ferry get faster and stronger. "The biggest thing for him and any freshman is his confidence," Layne said. "The biggest obstacle is having the confidence to run with these folks (in large schools)."
   "I think winning a race at a school like Virginia Tech helps boost your confidence," Ferry said.
   With three more years of running for Milligan and his fiancee's move to Tennessee looming in the horizon, Ferry has every reason to have that confidence.