Latter-day Saint Life

Former BYU runners smash the US Olympic Marathon Trials

Two former Brigham Young University distance runners have qualified to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympic Summer Games.

Conner Mantz and Clayton Young—friends, training partners, former BYU runners, and Latter-day Saint returned missionaries—clinched the two guaranteed spots on the Olympic team for Paris by placing first and second, respectively, at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Marathon Trials in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday, Feb. 3.

Mantz finished the 26.2-mile marathon with a time of 2 hours and 9.05, one second ahead of Young. After crossing the finish line, the buddies shook hands and embraced.

“This means a ton,” Mantz said, reported “The goal has always been to make an Olympic team. You never understand how much sacrifice comes with that. I’m just really grateful to be out here, especially with my family, my coaches and teammates.”

Young’s second-place finish comes one year after he had knee surgery. The 30-year-old runner was overlooked in many pre-race predictions for the Olympic Trials.

“That underdog mentality did me well,” Young said. “If you had me out of your top three, I’m in it now. Let’s go to Paris. Let’s make this happen. I know we are sending the best team.”

Mantz, 27, told NBC that Young was one of his first mentors and helped him finish the marathon.

“Last two miles I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to finish, but Clayton just kept saying, ‘Hey, just run behind me. We got this. Just stay together,’” Mantz said.

You can read the full story on Church News here.

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