2011-02-09 / Sports

Amherst track star Fields commits to Baylor

by PATRICK J. NAGY Reporter


Ashley Fields, front row, middle, signs a letter of intent to run track for Baylor University last Thursday at Amherst High School. Joining Fields in the front row are Larry and Paulette (parents), and in the back row, left - James L. Jackson, Sr. (grandfather), Parett Walker (aunt) and Mary Holston (grandmother). 
Photo by Scott SchildPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Ashley Fields, front row, middle, signs a letter of intent to run track for Baylor University last Thursday at Amherst High School. Joining Fields in the front row are Larry and Paulette (parents), and in the back row, left - James L. Jackson, Sr. (grandfather), Parett Walker (aunt) and Mary Holston (grandmother). Photo by Scott SchildPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Ashley Fields wanted to go somewhere warm for college, and Baylor University fit the bill.

The Amherst senior signed a letter of intent with the Big 12 school last Thursday in the high school conference room. Fields was also looking at LSU, Columbia, UCLA, South Carolina and Texas A&M.

“When I visited Baylor in November, I did not know what to expect,” said Fields. “I really loved the campus. It wasn’t too big or small, the coaches were nice, and the dorms were beautiful, so when the coach offered me a full scholarship, I almost cried. I knew ultimately that was where I want to go.”

Fields still has the spring outdoor season at Amherst, but she has already cemented herself as one of the school’s all-time greats.

She has appeared at the state meet the past three years, winning state titles in 2009 and 2010 in the 200-meter dash and a state crown in the 100 in 2009. She is a three-time Section VI champion in the 200 and a two-time champ in the 100.

She also helped the Amherst 4x100 relay to a section title in 2009 and the 4x400 relay to back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010.

The 2010 4x400 relay broke the school and section record in 3:54.

Fields also has section records in the 100 (11.76), 200 (23.66) and the 4x100 relay (48.68).

“She put us on the map,” said Amherst coach Dan Tryon. “Not only is she an amazing talent but her teammates around her rise up to the occasion when they work with her. She makes everyone else better. To watch her mature not only as an athlete but as a person, it’s a pleasure for me. She’s the best athlete I have ever worked with. If she works towards it in college, there’s no telling where she can go.”

Fields also is the 2010 United States Track and Field Junior Olympic Track and Field champion in the event, going 23.76. She also won the 100, 200, and 4x100 and 4x400 relays at the 2010 Empire State Games.

Fields expects to run in the 100 and 200 at Baylor but is not opposed to running the 400.

“The coach that recruited her (Michael Ford) is from Rochester, so he knows Western New York,” said Tryon. “They reached out all of the way from Texas. They have an outstanding sprint program there. They’re losing their No. 1 sprinter who has broken most of their records, so she has big shoes to fill. If they do choose to put her in the 400, the 400 coach is the guru of the 400s, Clyde Hart. He’s coached three Olympic champions. His 4x400 teams are always outstanding. Ashley’s done an amazing job with 4x400 teams here, finishing fourth overall in the state last year.”

Fields is going on a full scholarship. She will major in physical therapy.

e-mail: pnagy@beenews.com

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