ON THIS DAY: Missy Buttry Makes NCAA DIII History

Missy Buttry (now Rock) let the world know who she was on April 17, 2003.

That was the day when Buttry finished sixth in the elite section of the Women’s 5000 Meters at the Mt. SAC Relays and set the current NCAA Division III record of 15:37.48 in the process.

All-Time Top-10 Performers – NCAA DIII Women’s 5000 Meters Outdoors

Name
Program
Mark
Year
Missy Buttry
Wartburg
15:37.48
2003
Tori Neubauer
UW-La Crosse
16:07.37
1983
Vicki Mitchell
SUNY Cortland
16:16.20
1991
Melissa White
SUNY Geneseo
16:17.00
2003
Melissa Skiba
Cal Lutheran
16:17.00
2015
Maya Weigel
Pomona-Pitzer
16:20.19
2016
Laura Sigmund
Wartburg
16:20.80
2012
Rhaina Echols
UChicago
16:23.67
2000
Alana Enabnit
Wartburg
16:25.11
2012
Cara Deangelis
Ohio Wesleyan
16:25.30
2014

Let this part sink in separately: Buttry was a SOPHOMORE at the time.

Behind future Olympic silver medalist Ejegayehu Dibaba (2004, 10,000 Meters) was the Who’s Who of female distance runners at the NCAA Division I level.

  • Lauren Fleshman, Stanford (2nd) – Finished fourth overall in cross country; Finished runner-up indoors at 3000 Meters and fourth at 5000 Meters
  • Sara Gorton, Colorado (3rd) – Finished 10th overall in cross country; Won the national title indoors at 5000 Meters and third at 3000 Meters
  • Alicia Craig, Stanford (4th) – Finished third overall in cross country as a freshman; Finished runner-up indoors at 5000 Meters and eighth at 3000 Meters
  • Molly Huddle, Notre Dame (5th) – Finished sixth overall in cross country as a freshman; Finished ninth indoors at 3000 Meters

And, then, there was Buttry – right on Huddle’s heels.

It’s safe to say Buttry used this performance as a springboard for the rest of her legendary career, which resulted in her being inducted into the USTFCCCA NCAA Division III Athlete Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2016 alongside her husband Andrew Rock, Jan Cado and Kristy Laramee.

Buttry ended up winning 14 NCAA titles (11 on the track) and earning 18 All-America honors (14 on the track), but it’s what she did on the grass circuit that was unprecedented. She became the first athlete in NCAA history – regardless of division or gender – to win three consecutive cross country titles and was the first woman – regardless of division – to win three national titles in the sport.