“Yeah, that was ugly,” Herzig said, causing both of them to laugh at the moment when Ford was down to her last jump. That moment, lasted 30 minutes, until Ford’s next jump.
“I ran sprints,” Ford said when asked what she did to prepare for her final try at 5-2. She turns to Herzig. “You had me run sprints. I think that really helped.”
“You got unwarmed up, waiting,” Herzig answered.
Even the third jump wasn’t perfect.
“I hit the bar a little with my shoulder,” Ford said. “I had a sunburn there and that’s what I felt.”
At 5-5, Herzig could tell early. She almost got kicked out of the meet for leaving the coaches box to hug Ford, a memory that will most likely make each of them laugh for the rest of their lives.
“It was the most beautiful jump I have ever seen,” Herzig said, more than once.
Ford’s state title ends a significant piece of Cooperstown history, with the retiring of the district mascot “Redskins” on June 30 in favor of “CCS Hawkeyes.” It is a change she is aware of, but not passionate about.
“I was not one of the people who thought of the nickname as offensive,” Ford said, adding that it makes her happy that maybe she could give Redskins a going-away-present. “I think it will mean a lot to people, like giving back.” But she said she’ll be happy to win another title as a CCS Hawkeye. “It’s a state title, I won’t complain,” she said.
This summer Ford will work, play travel basketball, get ready for swimming and diving season, and maybe enter equestrian events with one of her family’s horses. She’ll return to Mike Pascuzzo’s high jump camp, probably when he is in Vermont like last summer.