O'Neal's Field Signs to Swim For Lenoir-Rhyne University
Kendal Field and Lenoir-Rhyne University appear to be a good match.
The O’Neal School student signed a national letter of intent Wednesday to swim at Lenoir-Rhyne, a Division II school located in Hickory.
“I visited the school twice and just loved it,” Field said Thursday. “It wasn’t too big, wasn’t too rural and it wasn’t right in the middle of some big city.
“They offer all the things I’m interested in pursuing. I enjoy languages (Spanish and French), international business and just recently I got interested in sports management. They have all of them.”
The school also has a swim team coached by Paul Schiffel. And swimming has been a big part of Field’s life since she was 8 and joined the Sandhills Sandsharks, a local swimming organization led by Taylor Cooper. Her sister was swimming with the Sandsharks when Cooper noticed Kendal doing her homework while her sister was practicing.
“Taylor Cooper asked my mom if I swim. She told him I didn’t,” Field said. “He said, ‘Well, she ought to.’”
She joined the Sandsharks and Cooper told her she had the build of a backstroker.
“I didn’t like it at the time,” Field said, “but now I love it.”
It is just one of four events she might compete in for the O’Neal swim team. She competes in the 100 backstroke, 100 fly, 200 IM and 200 free for the Falcons.
Field has qualified for state competition 10 times while swimming for O’Neal, with her highest finish a third place. She has been the Cape Fear Independent Conference swimmer of the year twice, and has received all-conference honors 11 times. She is the holder of six conference records. She is the captain of the Falcon swim team for the upcoming season.
“O’Neal has been a wonderful experience for me,” Field said. “It’s exactly what I needed school-wise.”
Owen Herbert, her coach at O’Neal and while she competed in USA Swimming age groups, has been working with her since she was 10 and with the Sandsharks.
“He has watched me grow up and become stronger as a swimmer,” Field said. “He has encouraged me the whole way.”
Herbert claims that Field has encouraged him.
“Kendall has been such a joy over these many years that I should only be lucky enough to have the opportunity to have more student-athletes like her,” he said.
For the last year, Field has been swimming with the Fort Bragg Fighting Fish. She travels to Fayetteville six times a week to practice with the club.
She also met Jessica Siegele, an assistant coach with the Fighting Fish, who helped her find a college where she could compete on a swim team.
“She knew my parameters (about college) and was very well-versed on what I needed,” Field said. “She did some research and ended up directing me toward Lenoir-Rhyne.”
Field said her parents, Rody and Beth Field of Southern Pines, are excited about her getting the partial scholarship to Lenoir-Rhyne. She is excited about getting the opportunity to swim while pursuing a college degree.
“I didn’t expect a scholarship,” Field said, “but I knew I wanted to swim in college.”
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