As I was enjoying the run by German Fernandez last night on Flotrack, I finished editing a piece by Kirby Lee for a photo gallery on Caltrack.com and in our summer Athletes Only. Just a quite note on German. The day after his historic run on May 31, 2008, German was back at work at Applebees, a local restaurant. He had not told many of his co workers about his historic double.
Perhaps one of the things that makes this young man so special is his ability to stay centered, and keep a remarkably normal life. We wish him the very best this weekend at the Nike Outdoor!
German Fernandez and his Smashing Double! by Kirby Lee for Athletes Only
Let the arguments begin for German Fernandez as the greatest all-time distance doubler in California history.
The Riverbank High senior thrust himself into the spotlight after winning the 1600 meters in a state meet record 4:00.29 and the 3200 meters in a national federation record 8:34.23 in the 90th CIF State Championships at Cerritos College on May 31.
Fernandezâ€™ mark in the 1600 meters on a warm afternoon was a state meet record and the fastest 1600-meter race time everâ€”second only to Alan Webbâ€™s en route 3:59.51 for the national federation record at the 2001 Arcadia Invitational mile for the fastest mark in a high schoolâ€“only race.
That was only the start for Fernandez, who smashed the national federation record in the 3200 by nearly 7 seconds held by none other than 2008 U.S. Olympic marathoner Dathan Ritzenhein.
Fernandez became the first to complete the 1600â€“3200 double since Mebrahtom Keflezighi posted a 4:07.61 and 8:58.11 combo in 1994.
Fernandezâ€™ combined time for the 1600 and 3200, though, was more than 31 seconds faster than Keflezighi, the 2004 Olympic marathon Silver medalist and the American recordholder at 10,000m.
And according to Fernandezâ€™ coach, Bruce Edwards, this was merely a workout for the Nike Outdoor Nationals three weeks later.
Fernandezâ€™ efforts were a study in pacing. In the 1600, Fernandez reeled off splits of 2:00.49 for 800, 2:59.10 at 1200, 3:30.2 at 1400m en route to his 4:00.23 clocking.
In the 3200, his fully automatic timed lap splits did not vary by more than 0.85. Fernandezâ€™ fully automated timed splits were 64.31â€“65.14â€“64.82â€“64.58â€“64.29â€“64.50â€“65.06, and closed with a 61.59 final 400.
Christine Babcock, a senior at Irvine Woodbridge High, was as dominating as Fernandez in the girlsâ€™ 1600m where she won in 4:33.82 to break her week-old national federation record of 4:36.57 set on the same Cerritos College track 8 days earlier in the Southern Section Masters Meet.
The national federation records by Fernandez and Babcock overshadowed a captivating duel by Jordan Hasay of San Luis Obispo Mission Prep and Laurynne Chetelat of Davis in the 3200.
Hasay out dueled Chetelat to win her third state title in the 8-lap race in a meet record 9:52.13â€“9:52.51 for the second and third times ever in high school history.
Sandwiched between the distances were team battles won by the Compton Dominguez boys and the Long Beach Poly girls.
The Dominguez boys clinched their first state title in dramatic fashion with a victory in the 1600 relay in a showdown against Long Beach Poly and the nationâ€™s two fastest teams.
Junior Kivon Grant, senior Manoah Wesson, sophomore Leon Dilihunt and senior Aaron Hester timed 3:09.59 for the 10th time ever nationally and the 6th in California history. It was the fastest time by a California quartet since 1997.
The Dons, also buoyed by a runner-up finish by Dilihunt in the 400 in 46.60 and Deâ€™Vrong Walker in the 110 hurdles in 13.96, totaled 36 points to edge out Long Beach Poly and Los Gatos, which tied for second with 32.
Dominguezâ€™ victory in the 4×400 also spoiled a heroic effort by Long Beach Poly senior Joey Hughes, who had a hand in all his teamâ€™s points and ran in eight races in 2 days.
Hughes won the 400 in a nation-leading 46.28 and finished 4th in the 200 in 21.53. He ran the second leg of Polyâ€™s 4×100 that edged Dominguez in 41.26 to 41.27 and anchored Poly to a 2nd-place finish in the 1600 relay.
Randall Carroll of Cathedral tabbed himself as the next track gridiron great with state-leading wins in the 100 in 10.42 and the 200 in 20.91. and the triple jump at 42-0 Â½ into a 2.7 mps breeze.
To see some great pictures from the meet by Kirby Lee, on www.caltrack.com, please click to (Let the arguments begin for German Fernandez as the greatest all-time distance double in California history.
To see some photos of German in action, please click on to : http://www.caltrack.com/read_new/2008-cal-state-meet-greatest-all-time-prep-double
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