The University of South Carolina grabbed one of the top multi-event athletes in the nation with the commitment of Creekside's Jordan Fields. As a sophomore Fields was 4th at the Great Southwest Classic, runner-up at New Balance Outdoor Nationals, and champion at the AAU Club Championships. In her junior year, the Creekside standout once again finished runner-up at NBON, was first at the USATF World Youth Track & Field Trials, and finished 27th at the 9th IAAF World Youth Championships. We caught up with Fields to talk about her decision to become a Gamecock.
Flrunners.com: What was the recruiting process like for you?
Jordan Fields: The recruiting process was one of the best times of my life and one of the hardest decisions I had to make. Getting to explore many Division 1 colleges and observing what each one had to offer was great. I got to meet so many new people going through this process and we still keep in touch until this day. However, it did get stressful at times and became very time-consuming; but thats what it took to make sure I made the right decision, not only from an athletic perspective but as well as an academic one. I was just truly blessed to even say that I had several options to choose from because I could have had nothing.
FLR: Where all did you consider/visit?
JF: I visited UGA, FSU and University of South Carolina. I considered University Miami, Rutgers and University of Kentucky.
FLR: Why did you ultimately choose South Carolina?
JF: I chose South Carolina because they were the school that not only had my major, which is Pharmacy, but their staff and teammates all felt like family to me. Every single coach and staff member from the Head Coach, Coach Frye, to the Academic Advisor, were just all so welcoming but also determined to not only better me as an athlete but as an overall individual as well. They were the only school I felt extremely confident in that would help me pursue my dreams in becoming a Clinical Pharmacist and an elite heptathlete. This stood out to me because some of the other schools I visited were all about track, track, track and then some academics. But you can only run for so long and the University of South Carolina showed me I can still achieve my goals on the track and become an elite heptathlete, but I can also obtain my PharmD. That's what I looked for in every school and the Gamecocks beat everyone.
FLR: You've finished in the top five in the high jump at state the last three years and in the top ten in the 100m hurdles. However, it's the multi-events that you've had the most success at. What are the plans at the next level?
JF: Yes, the multi-event is what I plan on excelling in, in college. However, I do plan on competing in the open high jump and the 100m hurdles.
FLR: What is a typical training week like for someone like you having to balance all those events?
JF: A typical training week for me is to make sure I'm always training for the heptathlon as much as possible. This is why I train for and do so many events in high school, so I can keep my body used to doing so many events. But during summer track where I can purely focus on the multi-event, I tend to workout 6-7 days a week, depends on how close the meet it is and I usually throw and do a tempo run the same day or sprint and practice on a jump another day. Some of the days of the week I lift as well.
FLR: How did you get into track and field and specifically the multi-events?
JF: I got into track and field, specifically the multi-event by I starting the pentathlon when I was in sixth grade. My dad coached me in all the events and knew I was a good jumper and a good hurdler at a young age. So he figured that the multi-event was fit for me ever since then and turns out he was right.
FLR: You were 2nd at New Balance Outdoor, first at USA World Youth Trials, and made it to Cali Colombia where you were 27th. What were those national level/international competitions like for you and how did those aid in your recruiting?
JF: Being able to compete at national and international meets this year was one of the best experiences I ever had this year. I got the chance to meet so many other amazing athletes across the country and we all just became a great big family. Traveling throughout so many places and experiencing several different cultures was awesome. Competing internationally was a very humbling experience and a learning process for me. I didn't do as well as I wanted to a but it definitely showed me that in order for me to compete a en even higher level internationally I need to execute and focus on each event more carefully and don't become to overwhelmed by my surroundings. Competing on such big stages aided my recruiting a lot. I feel as if it put me on the map even more.
FLR: Why the decision to sign early and how does that help you to focus on your senior season?
JF: I decided to sign early because both my parents and I came to an agreement that it would be the right thing to do. We decided that I didn't need to take anymore visits and we acquired all the information that we needed to know from my top choices. Signing early helps me focus on my senior year because I can focus more on finishing strong in the classroom and on the track. It's also a relieving feeling just to know you have a plan ready and set for you when I cross the stage in May. No more test-taking, filling out applications, college visits, etc. It was like a burden was lifted off when I verbally committed in October. It was such a great feeling.
FLR: What are the goals for this year?
JF: My goal for this year is to get faster and stronger like every year. Once I do that, the marks will fall into place.
FLR: What makes Jordan Fields such a strong/versatile athlete?
JF: What makes me a strong/versatile athlete is because I've always competed against older competition and trained with boys, older girls and even professionals. Back to when I use to play basketball at five years old I always played on a boys team and was the only girl which helped me become a strong athlete. As well as, having good mental stability and an optimistic mindset plays another huge part in being a strong/versatile athlete.
FLR: What are you looking forward to most about going to South Carolina?
JF: I am looking forward to starting a new chapter in my athletic career and starting to focus on becoming a Pharmacist at the University of South Carolina the most. I'm ready to train with with Coach Quarles and the rest of the coaching staff and team as well. I'm just overall excited!
FLR: Finish this sentence... Jordan Fields is... ___
JF: Jordan Fields is a hard-working, determined and strong young woman.