(Photo from Nike Outdoors, courtesy of Victor Sailer, Photorun.net)
Many remember this picture from last summer, as German broke the iconic national federation two mile record of Jeff Nelson (1979) of 8:36.3 with his 8:34.40. During the same race, German broke the 3,000 meter standard of 8:03.67, running en route to two miles 7:59.38 for a new national federation standard.
Well, German is at it again. Now it is on the World Junior stage. A freshman in college, all of 18, German had a strong cross country season, but was hurt in the NCAA Cross Country Championships this past November.
His injury did not slow him down for long! Running on the swift two hundred meter Mondo surface of the Randall Tyson Centre in Fayetteville, Arkansas, German Fernandez ran a spectacular indoor mile of 3:56.50, breaking the World junior and American junior bests for the indoor mile. It is obvious that German Fernandez has recovered from his injuries in cross country.
In the race, Fernandez went out conservatively, hitting the halfway in two minutes flat. He continued that pace for two more laps, hitting three flat for 1,200 meters and then kicking hard over the last two laps, for a final time of 3:56.50! Fernandez put over a second on NCAA indoor runner at 1,500 meters, Hog Dorean Ulrey. Not bad for the Californean's first indoor foray.
That blazing mile run portends more good things for German Fernandez. Although we might not see him much more indoors, as he is reportedly training for the World Junior Cross Country Championships qualifier, to be held in February. Last year, German was 25th in the World Junior Cross Country championships. As his all of 18, he has another year to compete at this level!
All athletes have good races and bad races. Some say that it is only through failures that we learn about ourselves. German Fernandez had a tough race at the NCAA cross country and has come back from that. We congratulate him
Some will remember last year, that the day after German won both the 1,600 meters (4:00.29) and 3,200 meters (8:34.23) in the CIF meet, he reported for work at Applebees. He did not want to miss his shift.
(Picture from CIF Meet, June 2008, courtesy of Kirby Lee).
Just how far can German Fernandez go? It is truly up to him. German is a true talent, dedicated and can rise above his challenges. With good support, strong coaching, some luck and keeping the injuries in tow, look for this young man to be one of the stories of 2012!
(Picture from CIF Meet, June 2008, courtesy of Kirby Lee.)
For the IAAF story on German Fernandez, please click: http://www.iaaf.org/news/kind=100/newsid=49029.html
For complete results on the Razorback invitational, please click:
For more on the sport in California: http://www.caltrack.com
For more on the sport across North America, please click http://www.runningnetwork.com