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Ferrari hopes to put HCC track back in the fast lane

August 05, 2007|By ANDREW MASON

Brian Ferrari knows what it takes to be a successful runner.

He won three NCAA Division II titles while attending California University of Pennsylvania in the early 1980s - two in the 10,000-meter run and the other in cross country. He also qualified for and competed in the 1992 U.S. Olympic marathon trials.

Hagerstown Community College can only hope that some of that success carries over to its cross country and track and field programs, which Ferrari recently took over as head coach. He replaced Andy Reid, who coached the Hawks for three years.

"I'm ready to give it my best shot," said the 47-year-old Ferrari, who was Reid's assistant coach at HCC and the head coach at South Hagerstown before that. "(HCC athletic director Bo Myers) has big expectations."

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Myers said the HCC track and cross country programs need to be more successful than they've been recently. Last fall, the Hawks fielded two incomplete cross country teams with only one female and four male runners. Last spring's outdoor track roster consisted of only 11 men and one woman.

Myers said numbers like those are "totally unacceptable."

"If we're going to carry a sport, it needs to be good, and numbers come first," Myers said. "The emphasis needs to be on recruiting our local kids. We want to get every kid from Washington County who's interested in continuing in track."

Myers said that's how it used to be when he coached the HCC track and cross country teams from 1979 to 1988.

"When I coached, we used to get every local kid. We had 40 kids on the track team," said Myers, who coached 87 All-Americans, including seven national champions, during his tenure with the Hawks.

"I'm convinced that track and cross country in Hagerstown can be successful again," he said. "When I was there, we didn't even have any scholarships. Now we have bundles of scholarship money. And we're the only (NJCAA) Division I track program between here and New York and here and Georgia."

Now the pressure's on Ferrari and new assistant coach John Grim, who was a longtime coach at Linganore High School.

"Absolutely," Myers said, "but it really shouldn't be any pressure. It should just flow.

"I have faith in Brian. If I didn't, I wouldn't have hired him."

Reid left the Hawks with a solid track and field recruiting class - 32 incoming freshmen, roughly half of whom are from Washington County.

The list includes four county athletes who individually won Maryland state titles - South Hagerstown's Trey Jones (shot put), Williamsport's Jordan Atha (1,600) and Clear Springs' Dustin Adams (3,200) and Katherine McCormick (high jump).

"I'm really going to miss working with (Reid), but I'm really looking forward to working with John Grim," Ferrari said. "He has an incredible track background. It's going to be exciting."

The Hawks open their cross country season on Sept. 1 at Shippensburg University.

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