At 5-2, Ford missed two jumps and was down to her last chance. On the third jump, she cleared the bar easily. She missed again at 5-4, just once this time. The three misses were enough that Ford would have lost a tiebreaker in Division II (and did lose a tiebreaker for second overall in the state, settling for fourth). But jumping at 5-5, Ford cleared the bar on her first chance.
“I knew when she took off that it was a good jump,” Herzig said. “Actually, I think she knew before takeoff. She said she knew when she was approaching, that it was going to be a good jump. She just put everything together.”
Middleburgh’s Amanda Roney was Ford’s last rival in Division II (school enrollments of 600 or fewer) and she could not clear 5-5, giving Ford the state title she dreamed about.
Ford is the last athlete to compete as a Cooperstown Redskin. The nickname will be retired on June 30 in favor of CCS Hawkeyes. For supporters of the Redskins, Ford has given them a gift in the form of a final piece of history: The last Cooperstown Redskin is a state champ. Next year, Ford will return to see if she can win a state title as a CC Hawkeye.
We won’t bet against this amazing young woman winning another state title. Congratulations to Ford, to Herzig, and to the CCS track and field program. Thanks for bringing home a state title to Cooperstown and for its Redskins.