Carthage athlete inks letter of intent to run in Division I

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 6:47 AM EST
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CARTHAGE, New York (WWNY) - There was a college signing at Carthage as a track and cross country athlete is headed to Toledo on a Divison I scholarship.

Carthage senior McKinley Fielding made it official on Wednesday, signing a letter of intent to continue her running career at Division I Toledo.

The talented cross country and track star says Toledo was a perfect fit for her for a number of reasons.

“I was looking at a lot of places, but Toledo definitely made the most sense in terms of the coach,” she said. “I fell in love with coach McDonough as soon as I went there and the location to where my mom is building her house. When my dad died this past summer, it definitely helped me decide that I wanted to stay in Ohio.”

As McKinley said, her father, Lt. Col. Benjamin Fielding, passed away suddenly in July, but his presence was felt at the signing.

McKinley says her choice to take her running talents to Toledo is something she knows her father would be proud of.

“It was his dream for all of us to go Division I,” she said. “I remember telling him as soon as I started running in high school that I wanted to run Division I in Ohio. He was so happy that I wanted to stay in Ohio because he went to college in Ohio and my mom went to college in Ohio. I know he’s happy about my decision.”

After missing last season running at Carthage due to broken hip, this is Fielding’s first year competing for the Comets after spending the previous six years in Germany.

Her coaches say Toledo is getting a talented and motivated athlete.

“The dedication, hard work -- she’s a driven young lady and I think that’s one of the things that’s going to bode well for her moving on to Toledo,” girls’ cross country coach Bryan Zyotek said.

“She’s an incredibly hard worker,” girls’ track coach Jim Goodenbery said. “She is so eager to improve, she’s eager to compete, and she’s about as driven as they get.”

Look for McKinley Fielding to make an immediate impact for Toledo in the years to come.

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