BYU’s Mantz wins National Scholar Athlete of the Year
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.