A tale of two prodigies.
This is a story of two young men of the rarest talent, two history makers, who seem destined to keep etching their names on the record keepers tablet. Hallowed, revered and feared records, seemingly set in stone for decades have already been vanquished by these two juggernauts.
Fernandez, Gregson. Gregson, Fernandez. Say those names aloud, roll them off your tongue, become familiar with them, because you will be using them a lot in times to come. These two seemingly separate individuals, cutting remarkably similar swathes of success, have become inextricably intertwined through message board fans.
First came Gregson, a rugged scrapper of a runner with the lazy hips. He possessed great foot speed which always separated him from his peers, many 48 sec 400m runners would never hear the welcoming jingle of a bell tolling for a lap to go, but not so Gregson, not only did he have the wheels, he had a very very big engine.
In the Australian summer of 07/08 Gregson went on a tear setting Australian under 18 records for 1500m 3.43, 3km 8.01, and 5km 14min14, the 3km being particularly noteworthy for, not for the raw impressiveness of the time, but the man whose record he broke went on to become one of the fastest men ever. Gregson had arrived.
Then came Fernandez, the smooth economical runner with the slightly tilted back grimace, hailing from a nation with much greater resources the injury prone Fernandez did not immediately distance himself from the pack. That is until the Summer of 08, when high school meets in California became Fernandez benefits, he made a habit of putting not just one good performance on, but two every weekend.
The climax, the absolute cherry on a bountiful cake was the state meet double where Fernandez delivered one of the truly great performances, recording 4.00 for 1600 and 8.34.4 for 2 miles, the latter eclipsing a nigh on 30 year old record! Fernandez had left the pack well and truly behind.
The deeds of these runners, largely ignored by mainstream media, drew thread after thread of discussion on internet message boards, several comparing the two and their great runs. The discussion continues to ebb and flow over who is better depending on who has put up the better mark of late.
Currently the debate seems at its most even as both runners put up scintillating times, Gregson (who was not allowed to run as recently as January due to a stress fracture) a stellar 3min37.2 for 1500 which equates to a 3min53.7 seconds for the mile seems to obejectiely have the nod over Fernandez’s 3min55.02 indoor mile. However the nature of Fernandez’s win and indoor track being what it is leads many people to believe he can go much much faster.
One thing is for sure, they are both destined for greatness, and they will meet in just a few short weeks at the IAAF World Cross Country championships where the 8km race seems likely to favour the longer distance pedigree of Fernandez.
Can they both make it to Berlin to really test the waters?