The good news for Cooperstown’s track team is bad news for high jumpers in the rest of the state: Lucy Ford is back.
Ford, a junior, has been out since injuring her left ankle in the Don Howard Invitational on May 4. She returned in good form May 23, winning the Section Three Class C meet at Sauquoit Valley. After winning with a jump at 5-feet, Ford stopped jumping to rest her ankle. She also placed third in the shot put.
“It was torture,” she said of sitting and watching while she recovered from a pulled deltoid muscle. “I went to the (Center State Conference) championships and I hated sitting in the press box.
“I was putting up ribbons (for the winners), and I guess I would say it was bitter sweet,” she continued. “The girl that won jumped a 4-6. Usually, I don’t even start jumping until 4-6.”
Cooperstown girls’ track coach, Connie Herzig, said that Ford’s attitude is part of what makes her so successful.
“Lucy’s main gift is her strength of personality,” Herzig said. “Her calm demeanor and her refusal to get down on herself when things are not going her way have been the determining factors in her continuing success.”
“Many girls are so hard on themselves emotionally that they cannot make progress. They get in their own way and worry over every little thing,” she continued. “Lucy has this lovely way of viewing the world and herself in a positive way and she sees the bigger picture. She is confident without being cocky and is able to keep a cool head at all times. She is a dream to coach. She is also very much a team player.”
Ford’s personal best this season is 5-foot-4, a good enough height to have won the state C-D title last year. In that meet, she finished fifth in class and 11th overall in the state. But she said her height, and her rivals’ heights as well, were hampered by bad weather.