Mantz wins national title - again
TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- BYU’s Conner Mantz successfully defended his national title as he ran away with first place at the 2021 NCAA Cross Country Division I National Championships on Saturday at Apalachee Regional Park.
Mantz clocked a personal-best and course-record 10k time of 28:33.1 on route to claiming BYU’s fourth individual national title in team history. At Pre-Nationals on Oct. 15, Mantz set the 8k course record at 22:47.0
The senior from Smithfield, Utah became just the 11th athlete in the 83-year history of NCAA men’s cross country to claim a second championship for himself. He is also the first individual repeat winner since Edward Cheserek of Oregon in 2014 and 2015.
Mantz blasted off from the start and remained in the lead or at the front of the pack for much of the race.
“The race started out and I knew it was going to be quick,” Mantz said. “This was probably the best start I’ve ever had in a cross country race.”
After several kilometers of getting bumped around the main pack, Mantz began to pull away along with Iowa State’s Wesley Kiptoo and Athanas Kioko of Campbell. Over the final 2k, Mantz gave one final surge and bolted for the finish.
“As soon as (Kioko of Campbell) slowed down, I made a really hard surge and just kind of enjoyed the last 100 meters down the hill,” said Mantz.
The individual championship success was not confined to the BYU men on Saturday.
Mantz joined BYU women’s cross country runner Whittni Orton as individual national champion. This marks just the second time that both NCAA Division I Cross Country national champions came from the same school. Robert O. Kennedy and Michelle Dekkers of Indiana did so in 1988.
As a team, the Cougars finished seventh with a total of 246 points, three ahead of Mountain Region rival Colorado. Northern Arizona won the team championship with 92 points. The Lumberjacks have won five of the last six Division I crowns.
BYU’s Casey Clinger joined Mantz in the top-10, finishing eighth. With top-40 finishes, Mantz and Clinger were named All-Americans. Brandon Garnica crossed third for BYU in 54th. Lucas Bons, Garrett Marsing, Aidan Troutner and Davin Thompson completed BYU’s scoring for the day.
The Cougars have finished in the top-10 at nationals in nine of the last 11 seasons.
BYU Individual Results
Top-10 Individual Results
|2.||Wesley Kiptoo||28:38.7||Iowa State|
|5.||Morgan Beadlescomb||28:50.6||Michigan State|
|6.||Adriaan Wildschutt||28:52.0||Florida State|
|7.||Abdihamid Nur||28:52.9||Northern Arizona|
|10.||Dylan Jacobs||28:57.5||Notre Dame|
Team Top-10 Results