Liberty track star Fields flooded with college offers

Liberty senior Asiah Fields poses for a photograph on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at Liberty High School in Peoria. [Jacob Stanek/West Valley Preps]

Richard Smith
West Valley Preps

A dominant performance in the 400 meters this spring has left recent Liberty graduate Asiah Fields with a dilemma — although it is a pleasant problem to have.

Ten NCAA Division I schools offered her scholarships in the course of the last year. Now, she only has a week or two to pick one.

The bounty include Northern Colorado, Arizona, TCU, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Grand Canyon, Tulsa, California-Riverside, Iowa State and Arizona State. She said she hopes to make a decision sometime this week.

“It’s a little more nerve-wracking because you have to make that right decision of where you want to go,” Fields said.

Lions girls track coach Bob Morris said Fields’ senior year performance was more of a reset than a breakthrough.

“As an eighth grader she was running times that probably would have won state. To have that accident happen, especially when you’re young, sometimes the patience isn’t there. Last year and this year, it was really awesome to see,” Morris said.

Fields burst on the scene in her freshman year, finishing fourth in the 200 and second in the 400 at the Chandler Rotary.

Later that month, Fields tore her ACL. She spent her sophomore year recovering from this injury and a pulled hamstring.

Healthy in her junior year, Fields won the Division II 400.

“Really the big goal was trying to get faster. She ran more 100s this year than she had in the past. Basically, it was to try and get her up to where she would have been. After that accident she had her freshman year, her sophomore year was just trying to come back from that,” Morris said.

Both the runner and her coach credited her father, Brad, with her advanced learning curve. Brad Fields founded the Spartan Speedsters Track and Field Club in 2010 and also was a Liberty track assistant from 2015-2017.

This year, he is the head coach at Glendale Community College.

“It’s a great thing to have because my dad is not going to sugar-coat anything. He’s going to talk to me just like he would any other athlete. He’s going to tell me up front what I need to fix and that’s how I have grown as an athlete,” Fields said.

Her top time as a junior was 55.99 at the Sun Angel Classic. Fields’ goal was to run times fast enough to get a scholarship.

Mission accomplished — one year later at the ASU meet. She won in 54.59, pulling away from Westside rivals Samantha Deane of Verrado and Dorian Nesby of Valley Vista.

“Dorian Nesby pushed me in the beginning. It was about who finished stronger,” Fields said. “It was special, breaking the Sun Angel Classic high school record for the 400.”

Windy conditions during the state finals each of the last two years, ensured Fields would not match her Sun Angel times.

But the gusts also ensured no one in Division II could hang with her.

“If the wind is blowing like that, she’s just going to power through it while some of those smaller girls, who might be a little faster, are going to have a little trouble,” Morris said. “When she got around that 300 and down the final straightaway, she basically just bullied herself right through that wind, because she’s so strong. She pulled away from those other girls and a couple had faster times than she did. Everybody was about the same until the 150 mark and right after that it’s brute strength and endurance, which she has quite a bit of. It looks like she’s accelerating and the others aren’t.”

On the scoreboard, it translated to a winning time of 54.90, an unheard of winning margin of more than a second over Deane (56.22)

“It’s a good feeling. I’ve done it before, so it’s nothing new,” Fields said.

She also helped the 4×100-meter relay win the state title.

Liberty’s Synfanie Crudder, Mary Ageve, Asiah Fields and Ella Escobar pose for a photograph on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at Liberty High School in Peoria. [Jacob Stanek/West Valley Preps]
Her final meet of her high school career (sort of) was the Great Southwest Track & Field Championships May 31-June 2 in Albuquerque, N.M. She won the 400 B race at the multi-state meet in a time of 54.71.

Then it’s off to college, where Fields said she will study dentistry, which means majoring in biology. One advantage for Ohio State, she said, is that the university offers a dental hygiene degree.

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