Casey Clinger became the first male athlete in Utah to ever receive a Gatorade athlete award, an honor won by famous athletes like Peyton Manning, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Jabari Parker. And he received it in one of the most surprising of ways.
Casey Clinger had driven the familiar route hundreds of times from his home to American Fork High School for his four-mile, early morning workouts with his cross-country team.
Wednesday morning proved a little bit different, though. The Caveman teenager and two-time Class 5A state cross-country champion saw flashing lights in his rear-view mirror and pulled over.
Even worse, he was being filmed by an ESPN camera crew. There’s no way he was speeding, he thought to himself; he was extra careful this day. But the American Fork police officer told him to get out of the car while they searched his trunk for weapons.
“He opened my trunk, and I was freaking out,” said Clinger, who had only been pulled over once in his life. “I had no clue what was going on.”