Joseph Hovey | Posted: 15 Oct 2021 | Updated: 15 Nov 2021

Mantz does it again, takes sixth straight meet title at Pre-Nationals

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Conner Mantz pulls ahead of Florida State's Adriaan Wildschutt at the Oct. 2021 Pre-Nationals meet. Credit Ben Sheehan.
Casey Clinger at Oct. 2021 Pre-Nationals Meet. Credit Ben Sheehan.

TALLAHASSE, Fla. – No. 5 BYU men’s cross country runner Conner Mantz clocked a course record 22:47.0 in the men’s 8K to seize first place and help the team finish fourth at the FSU XC Invite/Pre-Nationals at Apalachee Regional Park on Friday.

Mantz began the race with a brief stay in eighth place but charged past runners from No. 1 Northern Arizona, No. 2 Notre Dame and host Florida State over the last 3,000m. The reigning individual national champion recorded a 2:43.7 split and finished 2.5 seconds ahead of runner-up Adriaan Wildschutt of Florida State.

"This was an outstanding race for Conner," said BYU men's cross country head coach Ed Eyestone. "It was a real challenge for Conner to face Wildschutt on his home course today, but Conner showed how strong he can be with that extra speed at the end." 

Following Friday’s victory, Mantz has now recorded six consecutive first-place finishes and 10 for his career. In 19 collegiate cross country meets, the senior from Smithfield, Utah has never finished outside the top-10.

Teammate Casey Clinger joined Mantz in the top-10 at eighth with a time of 23:06.0, just a fraction of a second off a new 8K personal record. After lingering between 12th and 15th through the first 3,000m, Clinger pulled into the top-10 and never relinquished his spot down the stretch.

The sophomore from American Fork, Utah has now posted nine top-10 finishes in 12 career meets.

Brandon Garnica was the third BYU runner to cross the finish at 19th with a time of 23:34.0. Lucas Bons, Aidan Troutner, Adam Wood, Creed Thompson and Zac Jacklin rounded-out the Cougars’ results on Friday.

"Runners one through four have been very consistent for us this season, but we really need to develop our fifth man as we prepare for nationals," said Eyestone. "Today's result keeps us humble and hungry." 

BYU’s 131 points were good for a fourth-place finish, ahead of six ranked teams, including a 72-point advantage over No. 2 Notre Dame. The Cougars joined No. 8 Arkansas and No. 7 Colorado in a logjam between second and fourth place. No. 1 Northern Arizona took the team title with a score of 63.

In-state foes No. 25 Weber State and UVU came in 16th and 19th, respectively, while West Coast Conference-foe Santa Clara finished 22nd.

No. 5 BYU will look to extend its reign atop the WCC as the team returns to action at the league’s cross country championships on Friday, Oct. 29 at Newhall Community Park in Concord, California.

Following the WCC Championships, BYU will host the NCAA Mountain Regional at Timpanogos Golf Club in Provo, Utah on Friday, Nov. 12. The Cougars will compete then with the goal of returning to Apalachee Regional Park as it plays host to the NCAA National Championships on Saturday, Nov. 20. 

*Photo Credit: Ben Sheehan

BYU Individual Results 

Name Place Time
Conner Mantz 1st 22:47.0
Casey Clinger 8th 23:06.0
Brandon Garnica 19th 23:24.0
Lucas Bons 35th 23:34.0
Aidan Troutner 68th 24:00.8
Adam Wood 97th 24:14.7
Creed Thompson 106th 24:17.9
Zac Jacklin 165th 24:42.7

Pre-Nationals Top-10 Results | Team

Place Team Points
1st No. 1 Northern Arizona 63
2nd No. 8 Arkansas 128 
3rd No. 7 Colorado 129
4th No. 5 BYU 131
5th No. 2 Notre Dame 203
6th No. 24 Texas 233
7th Princeton 271
8th Florida State 281
9th No. 22 Alabama 325
10th Georgetown 331

Pre-Nationals Top-10 Results | Individual

Place Name Team Time
1st Conner Mantz BYU 22:47.0
2nd Adriaan Wildschutt Florida State 22:49.5
3rd Victor Kiprop Alabama 22:54.8
4th Abdihamid Nur Northern Arizona 22:55.2
5th Dylan Jacobs Notre Dame 22:55.5
6th Drew Bosley Northern Arizona 23:00.5
7th Eduardo Herrera Colorado 23:01.4
8th Casey Clinger BYU 23:06.0
9th Nico Young Northern Arizona 23:12.4
10th Amon Kemboi Arkansas 23:13.1


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