Still, Ford said the injury might have been a blessing in disguise since high jumping takes a heavy toll on an athlete’s legs.
“Having the state meet at the end of the season is tough for a lot of jumpers,” Ford said. “Being in the boot and resting for two weeks helped me a bunch. I had rested legs and that helped my jumping.”
But the competition was anything but easy for Ford. She jumps off of her left ankle and she said every time she went up, she felt pain. Ford also missed her first two attempts at 5-2.
“She had two good early jumps at 4-8 and 4-11 and then struggled at 5-2,” Herzig said.
Added Ford: “It was a big relief to get over 5-2 on my third try.”
Ford also missed her first attempt at 5-4.
When the competition moved to 5-5, two D-II girls were left — Ford and Middleburgh’s Amanda Roney. Had both failed to clear 5-5, Roney would have won the title on fewer misses.
Ford made the school-record height on her first try.
“I was absolutely ecstatic,” Herzig said. “I actually ran over to where she was coming from. I jumped on her. An official warned me sternly to get back in the coaches’ box. I thought I was going to get thrown out. She was beaming.”
“It was clearly her best jump of the day,” she continued.
Ford said she saved her celebration until Roney missed her final attempt at 5-5.
Herrick finished 12th in D-II at 4-11 and Vanderlaan-Meyering was another spot back at 4-8.
When Roney exited, it left four girls in the competition, with Ford being the last from D-II (school enrollments of 600 or fewer). Walt Whitman’s Jackie Crunden, East Islip’s Faith Perry and Burnt Hills’ Samantha Hjelmer also had shots at the overall state title.