Brad Muller | January 30, 2020
Jordan Fields doesn't back down from challenges, on or off the track. South Carolina's redshirt
junior high jumper not only wants to take top honors at nationals this season, but
she also has her sights set at earning her doctorate in pharmacy school. The former
ballerina knows plenty about discipline and is looking forward to reaching new heights
"I think this is one of the most graceful events in track & field, and I used to dance," Fields said. "I did ballet for about 10 years. The high jump is like a little graceful dance in getting over the bar. There is a lot of technique to it. Just like in ballet, you have to have a lot of poise for high jump. I think the high jump is harder just because I take it much more seriously."
As she works on finishing her undergraduate degree in psychology, Fields had a non-traditional training schedule in the fall. So far, the work is paying off as she opened the 2020 indoor season by winning the high jump at the Dr. Sander Columbia Challenge in New York City last week with a leap of 1.75 meters.
"It was my second-best indoor jump," Fields said. "It was a good place to start for me. I was very surprised how well I did. I went into the meet with no expectations. I think the keys were coming in with a clear, free mind and focused on doing what I love, which is competing."
Although she was in school during the fall semester, she wasn't training with her teammates because of a challenging class schedule that conflicted with regular practices, so she trained individually with her event coach, assistant coach Delethea Quarles.
"It was harder because I didn't have my training partners with me," Fields said. "It was just me and her. We talked a lot, and it was fun. The biggest challenge was staying motivated because in the hard workouts, you can get discouraged without having your training partner there to encourage you and push you."
"Confidence and mental toughness are big for me, and my coaches help me with that."
Fields, who still has a year of eligibility after this season, will earn her undergraduate degree in psychology next fall and is currently in the process of applying to pharmacy school at South Carolina, which is known for a rigorous class schedule. Read more here.