After suffering years of injury and not making the team to London, OTC Portland’s German Fernandez is making the most of the post Olympics track circuit. On Sunday in Berlin, the former Oklahoma State Cowb0y ran a big 1500m personal best crossing the line in 3:34.60. The time makes Fernandez #22 all-time on the American metric mile list.
“I’m shocked (by the 3:34 time),” said Fernandez to reporters after the race in the Flotrack video embedded on the right. “I thought my time was 3:36 something. With 300 meters to go, I felt really good and I was like ‘I have it in me. I have it in me.’ With 200 meters to go, I still felt awesome but I was scared to make a move as it was my first big European race. I was taking it a little bit on the conservative side and kicking it in at the end and I guess it paid off but I left a little bit out there.”
A phenom during his high school days, there were a lot of ups and downs during Fernandez’s collegiate career. The highs included a world junior record in the indoor mile, 2 cross country teams titles, but injuries really limited his potential in Stillwater and saw him win only one NCAA individual title (2009 outdoor 1500m).
Fernandez signed with Nike and joined the Jerry Schumacher’s OTC Portland group this summer after the Olympic Trials. In the mixed zone, he explained to Kevin Liao that the transition to new training group has been a smooth one and after the Trials he and the team went to Flagstaff for a block of altitude training. (Full post-race interview from Berlin via Flotrack)
Portland’s newest elite distance transplant will wrap up his track season running 3000m on September 9th. The race in Rieti should be a fast one and expect Fernandez to be ready to another personal best.