Joseph Hovey | Posted: 20 Nov 2021 | Updated: 29 Nov 2021

Mantz wins national title - again

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Conner Mantz approaches the finish line at 2021 NCAA XC Nationals
2021 NCAA XC All-Americans Conner Mantz 2021 XC National Champion

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

Place Name Time
1.  Conner Mantz 28:33.1*
8. Casey Clinger 28:55.7
54.  Brandon Garnica 29:41.8
102. Lucas Bons 30:10.1
118.  Garrett Marsing 30:20.7
175.  Aidan Troutner 30:53.7
227.  Davin Thompson 31:45.6

Top-10 Individual Results

Place Name Time Team
1.  Conner Mantz 28:33.1* BYU
2.  Wesley Kiptoo 28:38.7 Iowa State
3.  Athanas Kioko 28:40.9 Campbell
4. Charles Hicks 28:47.2 Stanford
5.  Morgan Beadlescomb 28:50.6 Michigan State
6.  Adriaan Wildschutt 28:52.0 Florida State
7.  Abdihamid Nur 28:52.9 Northern Arizona
8.  Casey Clinger 28:55.7 BYU
9.  Haftu Strintzos 28:57.3 Villanova
10. Dylan Jacobs 28:57.5 Notre Dame

*Course Record

Team Top-10 Results

Place Team Point Total
1.  Northern Arizona 92
2.  Iowa State 137
3.  Oklahoma State 186
4. Arkansas 195
5.  Stanford 236
6.  Tulsa 237
7.  BYU 246
8.  Colorado 249
9.  Notre Dame 290
10. Wake Forest 356