Stephanie Rothstein ran out of steam in her bid to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials today (Sat., Jan. 14) at Houston. After moving up to eighth place after 18 miles, the former UCSB distance runner began to struggle and dropped out with three miles remaining in the 26.2-mile race.

It would have been hard for her to crack the top three in any event. Shalane Flanagan set an Olympic Trials record (2:25:37), and she was closely followed by Desi Davila (2:25:55) and Kara Goucher (2:26:06). Rothstein was the sixth fastest qualifier with her time of 2:29:35 last year.

“She just lost all her energy,” said Ben Bruce, Rothstein’s fiancé. “She was running perfectly, passing, passing, passing people … then she started breaking down. Until then, I thought she’d finish sixth or seventh. She knew trying to run 2:25 would zap her.

“This sport will break your heart sometimes,” added Bruce, one of the top steeplechasers in the country. “You invest so much. It’s tough.”

Rothstein and Bruce, who will compete in the Olympic Track & Field Trials in June, plan to marry in October.

UCSB had another alumnus in the men’s Marathon Trials, which was also run on the Houston course. Mike Chavez, who holds the Gaucho record in the 1,500 meters, finished 28th in 2:16:13.


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