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A Bright Future Ahead
June 18, 2014
By Kelly McHugh
When you ask K-State track and field sophomore Devin Field about his goals for the future his answer is simple: he wants to be the best.
The talented athlete from Port Arthur, Texas, already proved he was 2014's best triple jumper in the Big 12 when, earlier this year, he won the outdoor conference title in the event, and after a successful trip to the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, he proved to be among the greatest all-around track and field athletes at K-State, ever.
Placing second overall in the triple jump and sixth overall in the long jump, Field became one of just eight Wildcats in the history of K-State men's track and field to earn All-American honors in multiple events at the NCAA Championship.
"It's a great feeling, but I do wish I could have done better in the long jump," said Field. "I'm not used placing sixth but still being an All-American, so it took me a little while to realize that it was such a big achievement."
And a big achievement is exactly what it was.
In the long jump, Field's sixth-place finish came by way of a 7.48m/24-06.50 jump while in the triple jump his leap of 16.46m/54.00.00 placed just behind Florida's Marquis Dendy, who came in first with a jump of 8.00m/26-03.00. Along with being one of only eight student-athletes to earn first team All-American honors in multiple outdoor events, Field joined Olympian Kenny Harrison as the only K-State men's athlete to earn honors in both the long jump and the triple jump at the same national outdoor meet.
Field's solid performance at the NCAA Championships even had K-State head coach Cliff Rovelto excited for the future career of the young jumper.
"Devin was remarkable," Rovelto said. "For him to record that mark in the triple jump, I think he is a guy that is going to be in thick of it as long as he remains healthy from here on out. I knew it when I saw him compete as a sophomore in high school. He's obviously talented, but he's also a phenomenal competitor and you just can't teach that, you can't coach that, it is just innate, and he just wants it that badly.
"He's going to be great one, a really great one."
A true competitor, Field is always looking to do better. He's not content with second, and plans on making sure the only way he goes from here is up.
"I feel like I did well," said Field on his runner-up performance in the triple jump. "Of course, no one goes in wanting to get second, but I was OK with it because the guy who won jumped something that was spectacular. In the next couple years, I just have to keep working hard because now, anything less than second just means I'm going backwards."
In order to be great, Field knows he needs to keep practicing, keep performing and keep working hard - he said those are his plans for this summer. Taking no time off, the day after returning home from the NCAA Championships, Field was back out at R.V. Christian Track training.
"The better you do, the longer your season goes," Field said when asked about his plans for the summer. "So I'll be here training probably until school starts back up."
Helping Field along the way with his training is K-State track and field assistant sprints and jumps coach Vincent Johnson. Now in his third season with the Wildcats, Johnson came to K-State after coaching four years of track and field at Lancaster High School - the high school Field attended. The previous bond of the two allows for a special relationship both on and off the track now that they are both at K-State.
"I've been coaching him since the ninth grade," said Johnson, "and I think it's definitely beneficial from the standpoint of consistency. We have a really, really good relationship outside of me just being his coach, and I've been able to be instrumental in his life as a mentor as well."
While Johnson came to K-State during 2011-12 season, Field wasn't far behind. Graduating a semester early from high school, Field came to K-State in January of 2013 and began competing with the Wildcats right away.
Having been through a lot together, Johnson knows Field better than most.
"Devin is a really, really humble kid up until he gets on the runway," laughed Johnson. "A lot of people would probably look at him on the runway and think that's his natural personality because he's just so enthusiastic about competing and jumping that it kind of overtakes him. He just gets so excited and allows that enthusiasm to really help him compete at a high level. Off of the runway though, he's very humble."
Quiet and humble yet a fierce, enthusiastic competitor, there is no telling what the future holds for Field. However, he knows as long as he continues to work hard and train smart, anything is possible.