Former BYU track athletes qualify for Paris Olympics

Conner Mantz and Clayton Young, former BYU teammates and collegiate champions, and now training partners, finished first and second in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Orlando, qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Mantz ran a time of 2:09:05, finishing a second ahead of Young at 2:09:06. The two embraced immediately after crossing the finish line, their Olympic dreams becoming a reality.

Mantz and Young are the third and fourth Utahns to qualify for the Olympic marathon after Ed Eyestone, their coach, in 1988 and 1992, and Jared Ward in 2016. All four men are former BYU runners, former missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Utah natives.

Mantz and Young have known each other since 2017, when Young was one of the captains on BYU’s track and field team. While they are competitive in every race they run together, this hasn’t made a single dent in their friendship or training partnership.

“The last two miles I wasn’t sure I’d be able to finish the race, but Clayton said, ‘Just run behind me. Just stay together,’” Mantz said to NBC. “I thought Clayton would pull away, but he said, ‘No, I’m not going yet.’”

The Paris Olympics will begin on July 26, and Mantz and Young will compete in the marathon event on Aug. 10.

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