German Fernandez certainly didn't get this level of attention (James Lang-US PRESSWIRE)

Treating Track & Field Like A Real Sport

Sports love making big shows of athletes joining new teams.

Andrew Luck was the man of the hour when he was selected first overall in the NFL draft, strutting down the stage of the Radio City Music Hall to grip and grin with the commissioner as he rocked the cap of his new team. Tim Tebow got a nationally televised press conference when he joined a new team. Heck, LeBron James even had his own ESPN TV special when he announced he was taking his talents to South Beach.

Earlier this summer, track and field’s equivalent of a superstar in German Fernandez went pro. Despite a multitude of injuries during his collegiate career, Fernandez is widely regarded as one of the most talented athletes to come out of the NCAA system in recent memory. One would think there would have been a lot of hype about Fernandez’s post-collegiate future.

Not the case because track and field does things differently. In an amateur fashion typical of our sport, the announcement that Fernandez would join the Nike Oregon Track Club-Portland came in the form of a Runner’s World article. Not a grand tour of Flotrack interviews and Race Results Weekly write-ups but instead one stinkin’ article.

The NCAA system as it is constructed is a great way for fans to become invested in the nation’s next generation of track stars. However, athletes making the jump from the collegiate to professional levels simply don’t get publicity. Agents, shoe companies and training groups often fail to release the most basic information notifying the public of new developments. Often times fans don’t find out about a change until they see the athlete donning the kit of their new shoe sponsor and/or training group.

Things might be starting to change. The Oregon Track Club Elite has partnered with our friends at The Trailer to announce the newest additions to the team roster through a week-long series of features. The shrouded mystery of who’s joined coach Mark Rowland’s premier distance training group will end as each day The Trailer will feature a new runner with an accompanying profile and original photography.

Former Minnesota miler Ben Blankenship was the first to be profiled yesterday. Oregon grad Alex Kosinski was next to receive the honor. Find out who will be unveiled next this week at

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