October 15, 2010

Brown Cross Country Hosts First Annual Rothenberg Race

East Greenwich, RI- The Brown University cross country and track & field program will host several collegiate teams at Goddard State Park this afternoon for the first annual Rothenberg Race, named in honor of Bob and Anne Rothenberg for their integral role in the Brown Cross Country and Track & Field development. The men's 8k race will start at 3:00 p.m. and the women's 5k will begin at 3:40 p.m.

Joining the men's squad at Goddard State Park will be Bryant, Harvard, University of Massachusetts and the University of Rhode Island, while the women will compete against Boston College, Bryant, Harvard, Connecticut, UMass and the University of Rhode Island.

Bob Rothenberg retired in 2000 as one of the most respected names in Eastern track. He came to his alma mater in 1983 to become the Director of Cross Country and Track & Field. During his 17 years as head coach, he impressed Brown with his dedication to student-athletes, his knowledge of the sport, and his high energy level. The excitement was never more evident than in 1992 when Rothenberg led the women's indoor track & field squad to its first Heptagonal Championship in the team's 40-year history. Since that first Heps title, the women's track & field team has gone on to capture nine more Heps titles, winning indoors and outdoors in 1993, 1994, and 1999, and outdoors in 1996, 1998 and 2000. The cross country team also won the Heps title in 1999 and finished ninth at the NCAAs.

In addition to leading the women's track & field team to 10 Heptagonal Championships, Rothenberg has directed the men's cross country team to NCAA Appearance in 1987, 1992 and 1996. The Bears finished ninth in the nation in 1987, 13th in 1992 and 18th in 1996.

In his tenure, Rothenberg saw more than 100 school records set by his men's and women's track and field teams, and his men's and women's cross country and track and field athletes enjoyed numerous individual honors. From 1985 to 2000, Brown athletes participated in 10 of 15 NCAA Cross Country Championships, 11 of 16 NCAA indoor Track and Field Championships and 14 of 16 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. In 1989, Rothenberg coached Greg Whiteley '89 to an NCAA title in the 3,000 meters, which was Brown's first individual NCAA track and field title since 1952 and only third ever.

Rothenberg's had athletes earn All-American status, set the course record at Van Cortlandt Park and break four minutes in the mile. Many of them are still competing, which Rothenberg feels is a sign of the love for running that is so much a part of the Brown program. He continues to coach one of those post-collegiate athletes. Trinity Gray '00 finished the 2000 outdoor season with the two fastest 800 performances of any U.S. runner, 1:45.10 and 1:44.91, then followed it with the fastest 800 in 2001 (1:44.56).

Rothenberg received both his bachelor of arts in history (1965) and his master's degree in teaching (1966) from Brown. While an undergraduate student, he won three letters in both track and cross country and served as co-captain of the cross country team his senior year. During his graduate study program, he served as a part-time assistant coach under Brown track mentor Ivan Fuqua.

Anne Gray Rothenberg was recognized as one of the premier jump coaches in the Northeast. She served as the assistant coach in charge of the jumping and multi events on the Brown University Track & Field Team from September 1983 through 2005.

Under her tutelage, new Brown University records have been set in all of the jumping and multi events. Most impressive are the six high jumpers who have cleared 7'0". Terrence Ferguson '91 leads the list at 7'4.25" followed by Dave Arundel '03 (7'3"), Doug Humphrey '00 and Ray Bobrownicki '06 (both at 7'0.25"), and Mike Lynch '94 and Timothy Weidinger '95, both at 7'0". Multi-eventer Lindsay Taylor '01 enjoyed success under Rothenberg and set school records in the high jump, pentathlon and heptathlon, and she competed at the NCAAs in the heptathlon in 2000 and 2001.

Rothenberg's athletes have won Heptagonal titles in all six of the events she was responsible for: high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump, pentathlon, and heptathlon. They have earned All-East status and have been nationally ranked in Track & Field News. Under Rothenberg's guidance, the jumping component of the Brown Track & Field team is powerful in every meet competition.

Anne and Bob are both civic minded individuals, as they are strong supporters of Special Olympics in Rhode Island, and have been involved in numerous volunteer projects. Bob and Anne's latest project is volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House which serves families whose children are at Bradley Hospital, Hasbro Children's Hospital, RI Hospital and Women and Infants' Hospital.

Directions to Goddard Park:

From the North: Rte 95 South to exit 9 (left-hand exit) onto Rte 4 South. Immediately exit at Rte 401/East Greenwich. Right at light onto Rte 401/Division St. One mile curve Right onto First Ave. Turn Right at light onto Main St. At next light turn Left onto Old Forge Rd. Old Forge becomes Ives Rd. One mile to park entrance on left.

From the South: Rte 95 North to exit 8A/Rte 2 South. At first light turn Left onto Rte 401 East/Division St. Follow directions above.