SI: Back on the subject of Monaco, Jenny Simpson had some interesting comments about how the race played out. How would you characterize the competitive nature between you two? Rivalry is a strong word and Jenny was quick to say that you haven’t beaten her in years and so it has not been a back-and-forth contest.
ROWBURY: We went back and forth in 2012. I made the Olympic final and placed sixth there and she didn’t even make the final. I beat her at the U.S. Championships in that year as well. In 2011, I was injured. In 2012, I performed better than her. In 2013, I did the 5K and she was placing well, and she medaled again. Last year, she ran faster than me. I don’t really count the Zurich final, because I feel that I was tripped there.
To her credit, she’s run very well over the years but I’ve never thought of her in a category as better than me. I just understand the sport as being something with its ups and downs. I’ve been one of the top Americans since 2008 and I’m very proud of that consistency. I appreciate having other women to push me to being better. Having Jenny beat me by two seconds in Paris last year was a good reminder of how much work I needed to do and where I needed to be, if I want to be the best in the world. Growing up in California, to even make the state meet was a huge
challenge because of great depths of talent. I like the challenge.
I’m thrilled I got the American record in a race where I beat Jenny by a second over the last 100 meters. It makes it that much more meaningful that I was in a race with the other top American and was able to definitely beat her and set the record. I want to earn whatever I get.
SI: Is a little part of you relieved not to see her running the 1,500-meter race in Beijing next month for Ethiopia?
ROWBURY: I saw that report that she wasn’t selected, but at the end it said that maybe she would be selected. I’m reserving judgment until it gets a little closer to the championships. One way or the other, I can’t control what she does. I’ve seen people that no one thought would win championships, come out on top. When Jenny won in 2011, no one predicted her to be the world champion. I know how championship racing can be and you never know what can happen. I’m focused on preparing for the rounds, a good finish and whatever might happen. My preparation remains the same, whether she’s in the race or not.