By Luis Azuara, Feb. 22, 2022
After placing a record in the 400-meter run with 55.71 seconds in 2019 at the University of New Mexico Team Open, leaving her in sixth place for outdoor competition, Ayana Fields was excited and determined to continue her athletic career with Cal Poly Pomona’s track and field team.
Fields grew up in Los Angeles, beginning her track and field journey when she joined a youth track team at the age of 6. She would eventually take a break from track and pick it back up in the eighth grade with a personal trainer. From there she continued to train throughout high school at Hamilton High School, which led her to where she is now, breaking various school records.
Fields and her brother were recruited by assistant coach Darrell Smith Jr. one day during practice. A month after a recruiting visit and meeting some of the athletes, she signed her letter of intent with CPP. Fields explained why she chose CPP and how she felt after committing.
“I was happy and excited, plus this was the only school that offered me a scholarship,” said Fields who will be graduating this spring with a degree in kinesiology.
After breaking her 400-meter school record in 2019 and taking two years off from indoor competition due to COVID-19, Fields was excited and prepared to compete indoors. She was satisfied with her 2019 400-meter run but wanted a faster time.
On Jan. 29, Fields completed one of her objectives. She went on to run the second-fastest time of the day, beating out NCAA Division 1 competition at the New Mexico Team Open competition.
“Going back to New Mexico was a form of redemption from the previous week,” she said. “I didn’t do too well the first time I went to New Mexico, even though that’s expected for the first meet. Coming back and being familiar with the track really helped in executing the race.”
She went on to set two new indoor program records, running the 60-meter in 7.59 seconds and breaking her previous record in the 400-meter run with 54.95 seconds.
“Coming back and setting two new records was like picking up from where I left off,” she said. “Even after I set those records, I was proud of myself especially for the 400-meter because my main goal was to break 55 seconds.”
Fields currently holds the all-time second fastest 200-meter and third fastest 400-meter run for Cal Poly Pomona women’s track and field. Fields will be competing on Feb. 26 in Claremont, California in track and field’s outdoor season opener.
For updates and schedule, visit the CPP Athletics website.
Feature image courtesy of Brian Boysen.
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