BY BRIAN C. HOREY
In no other sport is there a place for everyone short or tall, thin or heavy, speedy or just plain determined. With track and field, there is an event for everyone.
Two high-powered Fords drive the 2012 Cooperstown track and field teams.
Senior Jeremiah Ford was named Outstanding Athlete of The Meet at the Don Howard Invitational in Cooperstown on Saturday. He leads the boys, while younger sister Lucy is a key component of the girls program. The Redskins, led by Jeremiah, took the boys title with 106 points four better than runner-up OHS in the 11-team meet.
Jeremiah opened his day Saturday with a relatively easy semi-final win in the 110 high hurdles, while Lucy had a tougher task trying to move the 4x400-meter girls relay squad into contention with her anchor leg in a field of quality competitors. The girls had little success in the first race of the day.
Jeremiah came back in the 110 finals and was pressured by Unatego’s Josh Wincester and squeezed out a .03 second victory in 15.73 seconds. Both Fords took to the track for the 400 meters competitions.
Jeremiah led teammate Jacob Miller to a Cooperstown one-two finish with a time of 52.07. Lucy finished fifth in her race in 1:06.41.
Jeremiah’s next event was the 400 intermediate hurdles where he was again pressed this time by B-G/A’s Noah Ives. Jeremiah won in 58.42 – histhird win of the day. Meanwhile Lucy headed to the far end of the infield for her specialty – the high jump, where she once again was up against a quality field led by Oneonta’s Brittany Herrick. Both girls cleared 4-foot ,10-inches as three others bowed out. Each missed their initial efforts at 5 feet. Lucy ticked the bar on her second attempt, but left it standing while Herrick cleared it on her third and final effort. This put Lucy into the lead on fewer misses. Both missed all three tries at 5-foot, 2-inches.Lucy once again won, having beaten Herrick in Bainbridge a month ago with her best jump of 5-foot, 2-inches tying the school record.
The most exciting and important Ford event of the day was still to follow. When all the track and field events were tallied, the Cooperstown and Oneonta boys were headed into the final race of the day tied at 90 points each. Brett Smith (later named Outstanding Boys Runner of the Meet) lead an upset-minded four-some from Milford. Cooperstown’s Mike Boyle, Jacob Miller and Wes Lippitt gave Jeremiah a stride lead over Smith and Oneonta’s Bryce Wooden on his anchor lead. Smith, winner of the 100, 200 and long jump, closed on Jeremiah down the final stretch as both pulled away from Wooden. Jeremiah used his full 6-foot, 3-inch frame and long stride to fight off the shorter, but very fast, Smith. Jeremiah crossed the line in 46.94; a mere .06 second ahead of Smith. This marked the third consecutive Don Howard Invitational title for the Cooperstown boys squad Oneonta ended up with 102 points and Milford came in third with 76.
Ford had help. Lippitt picked up two seconds to Smith in the 100 and 200 along with his critical third leg in the 4x100. Miller won the 800 in 2:04.51 to go with his second in the 400. Jimi Safford and Joseph Harmon both hit 4:52 to finish fourth and fifth in the 1,600 run. Safford, Miller, Harmon and Jacob Lansing finished second in the 4x800 behind Oneonta to set the stage for the final race. In the field events Max Bonderoff picked up a fourth with a leap of 36 feet in the triple jump while pole vaulters Mike Boyle (10-foot, 6-inches) and Johnny Zhang (8 feet) earned second and fourth places.
Lucy led the girl’s squad to a third place team finish (59 points) behind Oneonta (149) and B-G/A (63). Haley Hohensee (28.60) and Beila Anania (2:39.85) picked up sixth places in the 200 and 800 respectively. Kate O’Handley finished a strong second in the 1,500 (5:35.13) and fourth in the 3,000 (12:25.27). In the hurdles, Michaela LaChance took fifth (18.69) in the 100 highs and Kelsey Lent finished fourth in the 400s (1:16.80). In the relays Cooperstown finished third in the 4x100 with Hohensee, Katelyn Kieber, Katie Franck and Emily Calkins (53.96) and another third in the 4x800 with O’Handley, Anania and Sarah- Jane Morosoko and Becca Odell in 11:24.27. Kiuber finished sixth in the long jump (14’ 5”) and Jordan Siver vauted 6’ 0” for third place.
Girl’s coach Connie Herzig has 21 years under her belt.
“It ha been a difficult year for several of our girl’s team members,” she said. “We have had several hurt and are now just getting back onto the track, but unfortunately several others have not been able to recover enough to compete this season.”
“We are young, but have a lot of heart,” she continued. “And with dedicated, talented individuals like sophomore Lucy Ford, we will continue to do well.”
BY BRIAN C. HOREY
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