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Sunday, March 01, 2009

More Fernandez Fireworks

At the Big 12 Championships: 3:55.02, then 7:57.71 three hours later.

How fast is this?

The mile is apparently a new Collegiate Indoor Record. The old record was 3:55.0 (hand-timed) by Tony Waldrop back in 1974; the geniuses are arguing over whether this represents a new record or not, and some say the old record still stands because it was run on a 160y wood track, or because hand timing adds 0.14 seconds on the vernal equinox, or some other similarly spacy thoughts. Don Paige ran 3:54.22 on an oversize track, so it all comes down to how you define "record", and the final arbiters for collegiate records are the geezers at T&FN.

3:55.02 also puts Fernandez at #11 on the comprehensive (i.e., indoor-outdoor) collegiate list, the first addition to the top dozen in eight years and only the second since 1984. So this is very fast for a collegiate miler of any age under any circumstances. And Fernandez's long term plans apparently call for racing much further than the mile.

The 3k wasn't so impressive a time, but he ran with the pack for 2k and ran the last in 2:30.62--a pace that, for the whole distance, would have broken the collegiate record by nearly seven seconds, and the outdoor US junior record by sixteen seconds. As it is, 7:57.71 stands #3 on the indoor/outdoor junior list, trailing only Jim Ryun and Galen Rupp and just ahead of Gerry Lindgren.

Fast. Very fast. No one pushing him. Not gearing his winter season towards track racing. Lost early training time to achilles injury. This guy is good.

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