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Track and field: Fernandez is personality plus after big day

May 31, 2008 | 10:59 pm

Spoke with a ton of athletes during Saturday's CIF state championships at Cerritos College, so many that I used nearly half of the paper in my reporter's notebook. In retrospect, German Fernandez was among the most entertaining kids to talk with.

I suppose I should mention that the senior from Riverbank High stole the show too. First, he broke the state meet record in the 1,600 meters with a time of 4:00.29. And for good measure, Fernandez set the national national record in the 3,200, winning in 8:34.23.

Afterward, he was candid. He spoke about his performance and his plans for the rest of the weekend. Celebrating at Disneyland was not an option, though. Fernandez was more concerned with heading back to Stanislaus County in time for his job as a host at Applebee's on Sunday.

"My job is pretty important and I don't think they'd give me the day off even if they knew how well I did today,'' Fernandez said. "My boss kids around with me sometimes and says I should mention Applebee's when I'm talking to the newspapers, so I wanted to make sure to give my job a shout out.''

So Fernandez runs the race of his life -- make that the two best races of his life -- and instead of basking in the glory, he's thinking about his shift that starts at 5 p.m.

-- Sean Ceglinsky