Missy Buttry Rock

(Shenandoah) -- Each weekday from now until August 26th, KMA Sports will be announcing the inaugural KMA Sports Hall of Fame class. Throughout the 2016-17 sports year, these 20 inductees will have special induction ceremonies, but August is designed for the announcements.

Today's inductee is one of the most decorated distance runners in NCAA history. She is the first woman to win three national titles in cross country in any NCAA division and a five-time indoor national champion and five-time outdoor national champion.

But before Missy Buttry Rock became one of the nation's best runners, she was also a state cross country champion for the Shenandoah Fillies as a sophomore (in 1998). Buttry, who also won the Class 2A 800 meter run championship in 2001, talked with KMA Sports on Tuesday morning about her success.

"God gave me the ability to run and the talent and desire to do what I did," she said. "My parents and family were my biggest supporters, and I had a lot of coaches throughout high school and college that guided me to achieve all my goals and dreams."

During her career at Wartburg, Buttry earned 18 All-American accolades, 30 All-Conference awards and is a 29-time Iowa Conference champion between cross country and track. She later went on to run at the 2004 Olympic Trials where she finished 8th in the 5000 meters.

It's a career that many may not have seen coming after disappointing finishes at the state cross country meets in 1999 and 2000.

"I ended up having a couple injuries my last couple years," Buttry Rock said. "It got me down mentally. I just started saying to myself this was a gift, and I was going to use it to bring glory to God. I knew I had the talent, and thankfully Coach (Steve) Johnson knew what to do with me and how to train me to the success that I had."

Buttry Rock will be inducted into the KMA Sports Hall of Fame at the annual Shenandoah XC Invitational on September 29th.

KMA Sports will announce a new inductee each August weekday morning during the 7:50 AM sportscast.

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