June 17, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Cowboy senior German Fernandez punched his ticket to compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials after running a 3:37.76 in the 1,500 meters on Sunday night at the Bloomington Twilight meet.
Fernandez earned a U.S. Olympic Trials ‘A’ Standard because he finished in under 3:39.00, just beating the midnight deadline for qualifying. The U.S. Olympic Trials will begin June 22 in Eugene, Ore.
“He looked amazing,” coach Dave Smith said. “He looked like the old German Fernandez. He’s gone through two years of frustration – two years of physical and emotional ups and downs – but he’s finally back to being himself.”
Fernandez’s time also set a new school record, besting the previous record of 3:38.02 set by Paul Larkins in 1986.
Fernandez placed first in the race and was able to hold off 2012 NCAA 1,500-meter champion Andy Bayer of Indiana to earn the victory in his final race in the OSU uniform.
“He keeps getting better every week,” Smith said. “The most important thing going forward – the next year and the year after – he’s going to be a major force in U.S. distance running again.
“I think he’s back. I couldn’t be happier for him. I’m just elated.”