For Max Fernandez, cross-country offered a way to get out of fifth period in high school without having to skip class.
The idea to join the cross-country team was first brought up by a close friend but he quickly realized he enjoyed running and could be good at the sport.
“I realized I had some potential, so I stuck with it,” Fernandez said.
The Huntington Beach native ran all four years at Edison High School and decided to attend SF State after visiting the school.
While at SF State, Fernandez ran his first three years until he was forced to redshirt his senior season because of a knee injury.
Fernandez said one of his proudest moments as a Gator came off the field as the president of the SF State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
The committee was able to get Associated Students Inc. to provide a bus for fans to travel and support the women’s soccer team during their 2010 Conference Championship at California State University Stanislaus.
“They funded the bus and I was in charge of finding fans and making sure they got on the bus to and from Stanislaus,” Fernandez said. “We filled 48 out of 55 seats.”
Fernandez said his 26:03 finish at the University of Washington’s Sundodger Invitational 8K race during his freshman year is the performance he will always remember.
According to Fernandez, the best part of attending SF State was the experiences and interactions he had with teammates and with everyone else at the school.
Fernandez is graduating with a degree in business marketing, and is also applying to the business graduate program at SF State.
If he gets accepted into the program he will run for the Gators cross-country team since he has a one more year of eligibility.
Coaching or being an athletic director is something he would enjoy doing later in life, Fernandez said.
“Right now I just want to focus on my career.”