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AFHS graduate Clayton Young sprints into Olympic history



Brynn Carnesecca | Lehi Free Press 

For AFHS graduate Clayton Young, running has always been a significant part of life. Young ran for AF’s cross-country and track teams in high school. After graduating, Young moved to North Carolina for two years to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While on his mission, Young had to cut back on his running and training severely. With only an hour every day to exercise, Young needed to make the most of every moment. 

Young returned home to his waiting track offer from BYU. With consistently astounding run times, Young won the 2019 NCAA title in the 10,000-meter event. Young soon met his close friend and current Olympic companion, Conner Mantz. Mantz and Young trained together daily, continually pushing each other to improve technique and time.

Following his senior year win, Young made the jump to professional running. Instead of focusing on track, however, Young made the groundbreaking decision to try his hand at marathon running. 

In 2020, Young and Mantz both qualified for the Olympic trials. Coming off a recent injury, Young knew this was not his dream Olympic experience. Mantz, also injured, did not get the opportunity to compete in the trials. Still, the dynamic duo didn’t let the experience rattle them. They knew 2020 was merely a warm-up for what was to come in 2024. 

Throughout the four-year gap, Young and Mantz raced in the 2023 Chicago marathon, setting the fifth and seventh fastest marathon times ever by Americans. The team continued to train from their Provo hub, hoping to qualify for the Olympic trials again. 

On Feb. 3, the pair competed in the marathon Olympic Trials in Florida. Beating seasoned Olympians and fellow runners, Mantz and Young finished first and second, respectively. Mantz finished at 2 hours and 9.05 seconds, a mere second ahead of Young. The pair nearly crossed the finish line together, just shy of a minute ahead of all other competitors. 

The two runners will compete at the Olympic marathon in Paris on Aug. 10. To watch their Olympic journey, follow Clayton Young (@_clayton_young) and Conner Mantz (@connermantz) on Instagram.


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