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Pair of Utahns, BYU teammates are Olympics bound

Posted at 11:18 AM, Jun 17, 2024

SALT LAKE CITY — After a trial run that captivated the nation, Conner Mantz and Clayton Young, friends, Utah natives and former national champions at BYU will embark together at the US Olympic Games in Paris to represent team USA.

Mantz, from Smithfield and Young, from American Fork, have been in rigorous training for months to prepare to represent the country on a global stage.

"I mean we're spending, you know, four hours a day together - five hours a day sometimes," Mantz reflected, comparing their relationship to a marriage.

The Utah natives met at Brigham Young University, when the pair had two years of overlap, winning national championships while representing the Cougars.

"It was kind of like a mentor relationship at first but it quickly became a peer-to-peer relationship as he got really fit, really fast," Young remembered.

Even though their collegiate days are in the past, the running continued for Mantz and Young.

In February, the pair made headlines when, at the Olympics Trials Marathon in Orlando, they crossed the finish line together.

"I was so caught up celebrating that I kind of forgot it was a race," Young said. "So when Conner made a move with 30 meters to go, I think it caught him off guard and caught me off guard."

Mantz took the win, with Young just steps behind.

"More than anything was making that Olympic team number one but then doing anything I could to help Conner make that Olympic team and just recognizing that we would be better in Paris together," Young said.

It won't be the first time Mantz has competed at the Olympics. He participated in the 2021 Tokyo Games, placing fifth in the 5000 meter and eighth in the 10000 meter.

"I'm just happy I qualified now," he said.

Now, both Mantz and Young are tying their laces to compete in the Olympic marathon, scheduled for August 10.

The dynamic running duo aren't the only BYU Cougars who will be running in the marathon. Rory Linkletter, who also has been practicing with Mantz and Young, will also make an Olympic appearance, representing Canada.