Watch: BYU Gym Sparks Wild Celebrations As Alumni Clayton Young and Conner Mantz Secure Paris 2024 Olympics Spot

Published 02/03/2024, 10:45 PM EST

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On the 3rd of Feb, two Brigham Young University graduates triumphed over about 200 men in the US Olympic marathon trials to fetch a ticket to Paris 2024. The duo, Clayton Young and Conner Mantz maintained a camaraderie worth a cheer, through the 26.2-mile course on the streets of Orlando. As they stepped beyond the finish line, the celebrations weren’t just from the two BYU alumni.

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Florida, on Saturday, welcomed the first US Olympics team trials. In the presence of thousands of onlookers, the marathon proved a worthy watch as solidarity among runners took a higher stage. Clayton Young and Conner Mantz at the forefront of it, secured their first tickets to the Paris 2024; thus earning a cheer from their alma mater.

Watch the gym light up in celebration

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On the 3rd, after a 2:09:05 run, Conner Mantz crossed the finish line of the much-awaited marathon. By a second, Clayton Young followed next with 2:09:06 on board. The two who currently trains under coach Ed Eyestone, a two-time Olympian, also happen to be graduates of the same university; BYU. Their one-two finish thus, was nothing short of a celebration among the athletic community of the college. “POV: you’re watching Conner Mantz & Clayton Young qualify for Paris Olympics!” the University added as athletes cheered with proud looks covering their faces.

In 2019, Clayton Young won the 10,000 meters at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships. In the following years, it was Conner Mantz who rose to prove a champion; conquering the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 2020 and 2021. Though more contests arrived for the two, the Olympic marathon trials were yet the best of the career.

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A marathon camaraderie through trials and through Paris 2024

Clayton Young and Conner Mantz have each held a glistening path of long-distance running through the years. Chicago Marathon, half-marathon championships, and more have framed the records for the two. However, the Olympic trials on Saturday came as a common triumph and did so with a show of camaraderie. From the start mark, Mantz and Young led the pack with Zach Panning in a slight lead. It was further by the 22-mile mark that the two visibly high-fived on having left the crowd behind including, the 2016 Olympian, Leonard Korir.

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“[Clayton] was one of my mentors when I first got on the BYU track and field team, and so to be able to work together in this race meant a lot,” Mantz told NBC. He further added that when he felt discouraged by the last two miles, it was Clayton who said, “We got this, just stay together.” With that, they became two of the 5 marathon runners earning a spot at the Paris 2024.

Watch this story: The Man Who Saved New York from Bankruptcy Extending The Prestigious Marathon Beyond Central Park 

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Written by:

Shivatmika Manvi

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Edited by:

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