Ford is also Herzig’s first state champion in 31 years of coaching, including 22 at Cooperstown.
Herzig’s enthusiasm is bubbling over. A little scream counts as her response to the questions ‘how does it feel?’ Her smart phone photo is a shot of Ford clearing a jump on Saturday, emailed to Herzig by a section track official.
“I think it may have been 5-5,” she says while double checking that Ford had seen it.
Herzig has also been getting lots of congratulations.
“All the old coaches have called,” she said. “Don Howard, Joe Kennedy, who both have state champions with the boys at Cooperstown have called. A lot of my fellow coaches have called. They say ‘welcome to the club.’
“It feels fabulous, but it really feels fabulous for Lucy,” she continued. “As I have said before, Lucy’s gift is her personality,” she added. “She never gets too high or low. She has an amazing ability to handle adversity.”
Ford certainly had plenty of opportunities with adversity this season. She pulled the deltoid muscle in her left ankle on May 4 during the Don Howard Invitational and missed two weeks including the Center State Championships. She worried she might not be able to return, but the injury was not as serious as feared.
“I think that was the hardest part,” Ford said, “the not knowing. The waiting.”
She returned in good form May 23, winning the Section Three Class C meet at Sauquoit Valley and then the state qualifier on May 30 at Cicero-North Syracuse.
Although Ford won the meets, she came out of the qualifier sore again. Since she pushes off with her left ankle, the injury was in one of the worst possible places for her. Then, in Middletown, she got caught off guard by a bad series of jumps at 5-2.