Curtis Ford, Howard, track and field

Q&A --

May 23, 2007|By GLENN GRAHAM | GLENN GRAHAM,Sun Reporter

Jumping during gym class while he was in middle school, Curtis Ford quickly learned one thing: He was going farther than everybody else. Now a senior at Howard, Ford, who competes in the triple, long and high jumps, has played a big role in the Lions' success this spring. At the county championships, Ford won the long jump (with a personal-best 20 feet, 9 inches); took second in the triple jump and finished fourth in the high jump to help the Lions score 129 points in a 44-point win over runner-up Hammond. Along with spending four years in indoor and outdoor track and field, Ford played two years of varsity football, swims with the Phelps Luck Swim Team during the summer and also has played recreation basketball during the winter. With a 3.5 grade point average, Ford, who has been in the ROTC program for three years at Howard, plans to attend the University of Maryland and major in business.

What does it take to be successful in all the different jumps in which you compete?

The key to being successful in jumps is you've got to practice a lot. To jump, there's so much you have to think about in the air. You've got to think about your form and how you're going to land, and keep your feet good, so you don't make a mark where you don't want to be marked at. And then with the high jump, you have to arch your back and know when to let go. There's just a lot to think about.

What will it take for the team to win a state title?

We're all going to have to work hard and work together. We can't really have any letdowns. If everyone does what they're are supposed to do, we should win. At this time of year, you can't slip up. You have to bring your best.

Which of the jumps is your favorite and why?

My favorite would have to be the long jump, but I'm starting to do well in the triple jump. The long jump is a lot easier than the other two because there's not much to it. In the triple jump, there's three different phases. And in the high jump, there's a lot of stuff you have to do in the air.

How important has being in the ROTC program been for you?

It really helps you become a leader. The mission is to help motivate young people to become better citizens, and they basically teach you how to be a better person. They teach you respect and discipline.

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