May 17, 2006
Announced today, Stephanie Rothstein (Jr.) won the Big West Conference Track Athlete of the Year honor for her successful and record shattering 2006. Coming off of 5,000m and 10,000m Big West titles, Rothstein earlier in the season also broke the Big West and UCSB records at 10k.
Beginning in the month of March, her winning season started at the All-Cal Challenge Cup where she took the 5k title in a personal best and then leading Big West mark of 17:08.65. Two weeks later she also showed that she had some speed under the 5,000m distance with a ten second personal best at 1500m, where she clocked a 4:34.86 at the Cal Poly Invite.
Then after three Track seasons of injuries, Rothstein got her first shot on the track at a major national class field, the Stanford Invitational 10,000m. Up against a national class field, including National Champions and All-Americans, she would set off at 80 seconds per lap in the 25 lap endeavor. Rothstein's first 5k was 16:47, a personal best and a would be NCAA Regional Qualifier if it ended then. However, she would have to tackle one more 5k, racing the final 12.5 laps in 16:40, finishing in 10th place with a new Big West Conference record by twenty seconds and UCSB record by a minute and a half. Her 33:27.85 ranked her 10th in the country and she now sits 12th in NCAA competition and the 14th ranked American this season.
In the month of April she hit a plateau as she recovered from the 10k. She was only able to run a 16:44 5k at the Oregon Invitational, a NCAA Regional qualifier, however, four seconds slower than her last 5k of the 10,000m race three weeks prior. She was later diagnosed with low ferritin levels, bordering on Anemia, causing a drop in performance. An increase in Iron and a few weeks after the Oregon Invite she would enter the Big West Championships attempting the tough 10k/5k double.
Friday evening, she would toe the line in the 10,000m final with teammate Seanna Martin (Sr.). Working together they would break the field and run away with a 1st-2nd finish. Rothstein would cross the line first and be crowned champion. Then on Saturday afternoon, she would lead a Gaucho charge in the 5,000m final as she would cross the line first of a UCSB 1st-4th sweep for the second year in a row. Rothstein's 20 points was an important part of UCSB's strong 2nd place team finish.
She will now look ahead to the NCAA West Regional Championship 5,000m final where she is ranked 18th. Then two weeks later she is slated to compete in the NCAA National Championship 10,000m final where she is currently ranked 12th. The top eight Americans in that race will be honored with All-American accolades.