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BYU’s Mantz wins National Scholar Athlete of the Year

By Daily Herald - | Jan 27, 2022

BYU's Conner Mantz prepares to cross the finish line in the West Coast Conference men's cross country championships at Timpanogos Golf Course in Provo on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. (BYU Courtesy Photo)

NEW ORLEANS – Former BYU cross country runner Conner Mantz was named the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Cross Country National Scholar Athlete of the Year by the USTFCCCA on Thursday.

This marks back-to-back seasons in which Mantz has been awarded for his combined prowess on the course and in the classroom. While flying by opponents on meet days, Mantz has also maintained a 3.75 cumulative GPA as a mechanical engineering major.

The Smithfield, Utah native is the only BYU men’s or women’s runner to receive the national honor since its 2006 origin.

The four-time All-American was also named Men’s Athlete of the Year by the USTFCCCA in Nov. 2021

Mantz wrote a storybook ending to his prolific BYU career as he won a second-straight individual national title at the NCAA Championships in Nov. 2021. The Sky View High School product recorded top-10 finishes in each of his 22 collegiate cross country meets, including 13 meet wins and nine straight to finish his time as a Cougar. Mantz became the first BYU men’s cross country athlete to win three individual conference championships and just the 11th man in the 83-year history of NCAA Division I cross country to repeat as individual national champion.

As a senior in 2021, Mantz also led the BYU men’s team to its ninth top-10 finish at nationals in the last 11 seasons.

Following the completion of another collegiate championship season, Mantz signed a professional contract with Nike Running. In his first professional meet, Mantz won the USATF Half Marathon Championship in Hardeeville, South Carolina on Dec. 5. Mantz won with a time of 1:00.55, beating two current members of Team U.S.A in Augustus Mayo and Lawi Lalang, 2016 Olympian Leonard Korir and a 2021 Tokyo silver medalist in triathlete Morgan Pearson.

Mantz will next compete in the 114th Millrose Games at The Armory in New York City on Saturday, Jan. 29. Tune-in to the games as events begin live on NBC at 12:30 p.m. MST.


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