German Fernandez was a schoolboy wonder. He broke the meet record at the California state cross country championships, and at the state track championships the following spring he broke Ryan Hall’s meet record in the 1600 with a 4:00.29 and followed it up three hours later with a record-breaking 8:34.23. Weeks later he broke the then-29-year-old national high school 2-mile record with 8:34.40 plus Galen Rupp’s national high school 3000 meter record en route.
In college, things were up and down but mostly down. His freshman year of 2009 saw more age-group records and an NCAA title at 1500 meters. Since then, though, he’s suffered injury after injury, and he has given up his remaining eligibility and turned pro.
Today he ran 3:34.60 at the ISTAF meeting in Berlin, breaking his PR by a massive 3.36 seconds (a PR that was set this June).
Watch more video of 2012 ISTAF Berlin Meeting on flotrack.org
While entry standards for the 2013 World Championships will not be determined until November, it’s highly likely that this will be an ‘A’ qualifier.
How does that stack up in U.S. history? Very favorably. There are only 29 Americans who have run under 3:35.00, and Fernandez is now #22 on the list. Those in bold below were active at a high level in 2012. “+” after a time indicates it was run en route to a longer distance (usually one mile).
|3:29.30||Bernard Lagat||Rieti 8/28/2005|
|3:29.77||Sydney Maree||Köln 8/25/1985|
|3:30.54||Alan Webb||Saint-Denis 7/6/2007|
|3:30.90||Andrew Wheating||Monaco 7/22/2010|
|3:31.01||Jim Spivey||Koblenz 8/28/1988|
|3:31.52||Steve Holman||Bruxelles 8/22/1997|
|3:31.76||Steve Scott||Nice 7/16/1985|
|3:31.93||David Krummenacker||Stockholm 7/16/2002|
|3:31.96||Matthew Centrowitz||Lausanne 8/23/2012|
|3:32.20||Lopez Lomong||Monaco 7/22/2010|
|3:32.37||Leonel Manzano||Bruxelles 8/27/2010|
|3:33.1||Jim Ryun||Los Angeles 7/8/1967|
|3:33.28||Chris Lukezic||Roma 7/14/2006|
|3:33.6+||Joe Falcon||Oslo 7/14/1990|
|3:33.72||Seneca Lassiter||Nice 7/17/1999|
|3:33.89||Paul McMullen||Monaco 7/20/2001|
|3:33.99||Todd Harbour||Zürich 8/18/1982|
|3:33.99||Steve Lacy||Oslo 7/15/1980|
|3:34.11||Russell Brown||Doha 5/11/2012|
|3:34.25||Matt Tegenkamp||Athínai 7/2/2007|
|3:34.25||David Torrence||Rieti 8/29/2010|
|3:34.60||German Fernandez||Berlin 9/2/2012|
|3:34.66||Tim Hacker||Koblenz 8/13/1987|
|3:34.7+||Chuck Aragon||Oslo 7/21/1984|
|3:34.71||Charlie Gruber||Heusden-Zolder 7/31/2004|
|3:34.75||Galen Rupp||Eagle Rock 5/18/2012|
|3:34.78||Robby Andrews||Eagle Rock 5/18/2012|
|3:34.89||Rob Myers||London 7/22/2005|
Note that eleven of the twenty-nine were active at a high level this year, and it expands to thirteen if you add in active-but-not-high-level Alan Webb and Rob Myers.