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Fernandez Qualifies For U.S Olympic Trials
Riverbank High graduate German Fernandez is just one step from the 2012 London Olympics.

The former high school mile record holder and prep state champion erupted for the best run of his life in his latest effort in an Oklahoma State uniform in the 1,500 meters at the Bloomington Twilight meet on June 17.

The run was completed just hours before the deadline for qualifying to the U.S. Olympic Trials, and left Fernandez with a 3 minute, 37.76 second finish that snared the Trials 'A' Standard and bested 2012 NCAA champion, Andy Bayer of Indiana.

The finish culminated a strong college career from a runner who had struggled with injuries and fought to return to the same prestige he was once known for.

"He looked amazing," coach Dave Smith reported on the OSU Athletics website. "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."

The 3:37.76 is the fastest time ever recorded by a runner in OSU uniform. The previous best was a 3:38.02 nabbed by Paul Larkins in 1986.

The 1,500 preliminary heat is on Thursday, June 29 at 4:20 p.m. at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

Semifinals are on Friday and the event concludes on Saturday.

"He keeps getting better every week," Smith said on the OSU site. "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."