She was the top American at the NYRR Mini 10K.
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NEW YORK — For Stephanie Rothstein, her sixth place finish at Sunday’s NYRR Mini 10K was extra special. The 28-year-old based in Flagstaff, Ariz., not only was the top American, but she set a new personal best in a city that is near and dear to her heart.
Rothstein, a member of Team USA Arizona, was born in the city. Spending a year living on Long Island, Rothstein moved away as a child, returning only to spend many summers and Christmas celebrations with her father, James.
With this year’s NYRR Mini 10K only eight days before Father’s Day, Rothstein chose to dedicate this race to James, who passed away about eight years ago.
“Doing it back here in New York at something like this really brings it full circle for me,” said Rothstein, a mix of both allergies and emotions tearing up her eyes. “He never got to see me race professionally.”
Thinking of him mid-race, Rothstein was able to catch up to the leaders slightly after 5K, just before Edna Kiplagat, the eventual winner, pulled away.
“Any time you’re able to run in the front pack with the women of the caliber we had today, [it] definitely gives me good confidence,” she said.
Covering the second half of the race in 16:41, Rothstein finished in a personal best of 33:04, the first American and sixth overall.
“It’s been an up and down last couple months,” Rothstein described, “and its slowly coming together.”
Next up will be the Olympic Trials 10,000m, and possibly an appearance in the 5000m in Eugene.
“This [Mini] will be my last hard effort before cruising into the Trials,” she said.
After a disappointing Olympic Marathon Trials in January, where she had to drop out at 23 miles, Rothstein is back and ready to contend for an Olympic spot on the track. She will not only have to finish in the top-3 at the Trials, but will have to get under the Olympic Games “A” standard of 31:45.00.
“Today was a good day for me,” she said. “It was a good indication going into that [Trials] race, hoping to be in the mix.”