Track and Fields: runner dominates NCAA Division II in 400-meter and 110-meter hurdles

By Kevin Corella, Mar. 22, 2022

After earning back-to-back California Collegiate Athletic Association track athlete of the week awards for running hurdles and NCAA provisional qualifying times in both the 110-meter hurdles and the 400-meter, Ryan Fields has been on a rampage in the NCAA Division II.

At the Franson Classic, Fields broke the CPP record for the 400-meter hurdles, placing second-fastest time in NCAA Division II. He finished in 51.25 seconds, also breaking his previous best. The last two weeks previous, Fields has led Division II in both hurdles events. He ran the fastest current time for the 110-meter hurdles coming in at 14.19, making him the fourth-fastest in CPP history as well as running NCAA provisional qualifying time in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 52.92.

Fields explained he was more surprised to get the provisional qualifying time for the 110m hurdles and not the 400-meter hurdles. The 110-meter hurdles surprised him since he has never run that fast before and since the UC San Diego athlete that ran next to him pushed him to his best.

“It’s a relief because all the work is paying off,” said Fields. “Now I have to keep executing.”

Fields, growing up in Los Angeles, remembers track being his number one sport. He started in middle school due to his sister who was also on the track and field team, which always motivated him to try new things. He noticed he was good in track when he was in high school. His coach would split his attention to focus on hurdles and went to a workshop  solely to learn how to make himself and Fields better at hurdles.

“It was rough at the beginning of my career,” said Fields. “I got smoked in my first race for hurdles.”

Fields and his sister, Ayana were recruited at the same time by assistant coach Darrell Smith Jr one day at practice. The coach was honest stating that he thought it was a twin package. Fields never thought he would run collegiate track and field with his sister until CPP offered him a scholarship.

Fields explained how he does not regret choosing to attend CPP and staying close to his sister.

“I wouldn’t want to go to another college since I know I can rely on her whenever something happens,” said Fields.

Fields added how people always ask who is faster between each other. Fields stated that regardless of gender, it is a competition they are both very competitive at.

Like any other athlete, Fields likes to envision the race and push himself to execute. He repeats to himself “execute and attack the first hurdles.” Fields doesn’t do anything in particular before he runs but the day before he likes to eat a big dinner then take his uniform and put it on a chair in the order he will put it on the next day. He does all this the night before so he can have a relaxed meet day. On the bus the only kind of  ritual he has is to listen to 21 Savage.

Fields talked about the importance of taking every practice and competition seriously. In high school, being part of the track and field team is seen as more of a social gathering. Butt in college, it is taken to the next level;  some people are on scholarships, and some are working towards them.

“Collegiate track is something you choose to do,” said Fields “You give the sport your all…you will have bad days, but you can’t let that affect how you perform.”

Featured image courtesy of CPP Athletics.

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