Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Rocks Now Training in Minnesota

Meet Minnesota's newest track and field power couple: Andrew Rock and Missy Buttry Rock.

The elite tracksters-- Rock won an individual World Championships silver medal at 400 meters in 2005, Buttry Rock has been a member of two USA World Cross Country squads -- have moved to Minnesota where they hope to revive their competitive careers.

Rock (pictured, left) is training at the University of Minnesota with former Golden Gopher quarter-mile stars Mitch Potter and Aaron Buzard under the direction of University of Wisconsin assistant coach Mark Guthrie.

Rock, a Wisconsin native who competed for the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse (where Guthrie was his coach), weathered a disappointing 2008 season that saw him DNF in the opening round of the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon.

Rock sports a 44.35 PR for 400m.

In 2006, Rock was the USA 400m champion. He earned 4 x 400m relay gold medals at the 2004 Athens Olympics -- where he ran in the prelims -- and at the 2005 World Championship, where he carried the stick in the lead-off leg of the finals.

Guthrie framed Rock's 2009 objectives, where he'll likely race 3-4 times indoors prior to a fuller outdoor campaign as, "getting excited about training again and getting back into the blocks." Rock had been training in Madison, Wisconsin prior to the move to Minnesota. He and Potter trained together in La Crosse in 2005-2006.

Buttry Rock (pictured, right) joins the Team USA Minnesota long distance training group. The Iowa native and Wartburg College alum, has been hobbled by injures of late. While a collegian, she won three NCAA Division III cross country titles and 14 D3 titles total.

She has a PR of 15:37.48 for 5000 meters.

Buttry Rock made two USA World Cross Country teams while at Wartburg, finishing 4th in 2004 and 3rd in 2005 in the USA Cross Country Championships 4K races.

"We're glad Missy has joined our group," Team USA Minnesota coach Dennis Barker said in a media release. "She's had a series of injuries since she got out of college and we hope to help her return to competitive running in the coming year."

Photo of Rock by Randy Miyazaki/Track and Field Photo.

Photo of Buttry Rock courtesy of Team USA Minnesota.

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