BYU’s Mantz Wins National College Athlete of the Year | News, Sports, Jobs
NEW ORLEANS — Former BYU cross country runner Conner Mantz was named the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Cross Country Scholar Athlete of the Year by the USTFCCCA on Thursday.
This marks back-to-back seasons in which Mantz has been recognized for his combined prowess on the course and in the classroom. While flying by opponents on competition days, Mantz also maintained a 3.75 GPA as a mechanical engineering major.
The Smithfield, Utah native is the only male or female BYU runner to receive the national honor since originating in 2006.
The four-time All-American was also named Male Athlete of the Year by the USTFCCCCA in November 2021.
Mantz wrote a storybook ending his prolific career at BYU as he won a second straight individual national title at the NCAA Championships in November 2021. The Sky View High School product recorded top 10 finishes in each of his 22 collegiate cross-country meets, including 13 competitive wins and nine in a row to end his time as a Cougar. Mantz became the first BYU male cross country athlete to win three individual conference championships and only the 11th man in NCAA’s 83-year Division I cross country history to repeat as an individual national champion.
As a senior in 2021, Mantz also led BYU’s men’s team to its ninth top-10 finish at nationals in the past 11 seasons.
After the completion of another collegiate championship season, Mantz signed a pro contract with Nike Running. In his first professional encounter, 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 Team USA members in Augustus Mayo and Lawi Lalang, 2016 Olympian Leonard Korir and a Tokyo 2021 silver medalist in triathlete Morgan Pearson.
Mantz will then compete in the 114th Millrose Games at The Armory in New York on Saturday, January 29. Tune in to the games as the events begin live on NBC at 12:30 p.m. MST.