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BYU/UVU roundup: Conner Mantz wins National Athlete of the Week again

By Staff | Oct 18, 2021

BYU cross country runner Conner Mantz wins the Pre-Nationals in Tallahassee, Florida on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. (BYU Courtesy Photo)

No. 5 BYU men’s cross country runner Conner Mantz was honored as NCAA Division I National Men’s co-Athlete of the Week, the USTFCCCA announced on Monday.

Mantz garnered the award after finishing first with a course-record 22:47.0 in the men’s 8K at the FSU XC Invite/Pre-Nationals at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Florida on Oct. 15.

The reigning USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Year shared the weekly award with Wesley Kiptoo of Iowa State. Kiptoo won the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational on Friday. Mantz pulled away to beat Kiptoo after a neck-and-neck race at the Roy Griak Invitational in St. Paul, Minnesota on Sept. 24.

This marks Mantz’s third career recognition as National Athlete of the Week. The USTFCCCA honored the senior from Smithfield, Utah just three weeks ago following his win in Minnesota. As a sophomore, Mantz took home the award after a win at the Bill Dellinger Invitational in Springfield, Oregon on Sept. 28, 2019.

Mantz and the Cougars will compete for their seventh consecutive West Coast Conference Championship at Newhall Community Park in Concord, California on Friday, Oct. 29.

Palmler named TicketSmarter WAC Freshman of the Week

Utah Valley’s Natalie Palmer has earned Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Week honors for the week of Oct. 11 through Oct. 17.

Palmer, a setter from Highland, Ariz., averaged a double-double over two victories against in-state rival Dixie State.

In a five-set thriller on Thursday, Palmer finished with 15 assists, a career-best 15 digs, and three aces to help the Wolverines complete the comeback. On the week, Palmer averaged 3.25 assists per set and 2.75 digs per set while adding four service aces and three kills.


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