July 7, 2006
Stephanie Rothstein (Sr.) has not had the smoothest Track career at UC Santa Barbara. In her four years as a Gaucho she has seen numerous injuries, an uncertain financial future that almost had her moving back home to Arizona and track season after track season ending in disappointment. Rothstein persevered through it all and it culminated in this 2006 campaign when she became a seasoned collector of awards, records and titles; a season that saw her earn All-American status, Big West Conference and UCSBGauchos.com Female Athlete of the Year, Big West and UCSB 10,000m records and Big West 5k and 10k championships. So, why would her trip to represent the United States at 10k in the North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Under 23 Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic be any different?
Eight of the eighty-eight Americans on the squad traveling on Wednesday lost their baggage en route to Santo Domingo. A nine percent chance that Rothstein's bag would be one of them and wouldn't you know it, her bag indeed was one of the lost. Keeping the main racing items in her carry-on, she is ok for tonight's 10,000m final at 6:25pm on the Pan-American Stadium track, however has not changed in two days and has been without her lactose pills that curb her intolerance of all that is dairy.
Keeping with Rothstein tradition, she has stayed positive through the experience, much like she has done over the last four year allowing her to be in this position of representing the United States. Below in an interview with UCSBGauchos.com, she comments on her mentality, training and representing the U.S.A.:
UCSB - For somebody who has dreamed of competing for the United States, how do you feel putting on the USA uniform and accompanying gear for the first time?
SR - The gear is incredible and gives me a sense of pride that I feel is coveted by all American distance runners. You never know when you might get the opportunity to represent USA so I do not take one thing I put on for granted.
UCSB - What is your mentality going into the U23 CONCAF Championships 10,000m?
SR - I could not be having a rougher start to this trip. Long story short, my bag along with eight other of my teammates bags did not make it here, which has all my food, clothes, and lactose pills. Translation - I smell, I have been wearing the same outfit for two days, and I am hungry for real food, eating a lot fruit and juices since I am guaranteed they have no lactose in them. Everything else is a little bit of a danger zone.
So my mentality has been a little shaken, because of the circumstances I am in right now. I have learned to roll with the punches. I definitely do not have my normal pre-race meals, or even my race meals. Things are out of whack but all that I need to know is all the work I have put in and that when it comes down to it, if you have confidence you will have success. My mentality is more focused on the experience of the championship rather than the outcome of the race. Being in the middle of base training for my most pivotal cross country season at UCSB is the perspective I am coming from. I had a very successful track season and have nothing more to prove on the track time wise. All I have to do now is be a competitor for the U.S. in the best way I can at this time in my training.
UCSB - In 2006 you achieved many of your collegiate goals. What is next and how do you remain hungry for more?
SR - My next goal is All American cross country which I hope leads the team in a top 10 finish at NCAA's. Its easy to stay hungry when you love so much what you do. I really only started serious training my senior year of high school so I feel I have a long future ahead of me.
UCSB - It has been publicized that you had low iron levels, even at NCAA's. What got you through that race and what did it mean to you to receive All-American accolades?
SR - Read the article by Mark Patton (SB Newspress). It sums it all up. Click here to view the complete article.
UCSB - You were not a standout high school athlete going into your senior year; what would you tell a high school runner about life and racing now that you have become one of the top U.S. 10,000m runners?
SR - Do not get burned out in high school. The one word I have to sum it up is - development. Do not look for immediate results your first or second years. Let your body adjust to collegiate running and stay tough through your trials and errors. If you truly remain patient and determined you will have a breakthrough and everything will fall into place from then on. Remember if you want to run in collegiately it is a whole different level than high school. Everyone you tow the line with has put in just as much work and dedication as you. But it is the ones who want it the most that will succeed.