On a historic day for American men at the Chicago Marathon, two former BYU runners stole the show.

Conner Mantz, who won the NCAA men’s cross-country national championships twice while at BYU, was the top American finisher at the 2023 Chicago Marathon, finishing sixth overall.

With his time of 2:07:47, he unlocked a spot for a United States marathoner at the 2024 Olympics. (Countries earn Olympic marathon entries through their runners’ performances in the races leading up to the Olympics.)

“It was a really good run. I’m really excited about my result.” he told Runner’s World.

Mantz fell just short of his goal of breaking 2:07, but he did shave 29 seconds off his 2022 time in Chicago.

“Mantz is now tied with Dathan Ritzenhein for fourth on the list of fastest American marathoners,” Runner’s World reported.

Clayton Young, another former BYU runner, finished right behind Mantz, taking seventh overall.

Young also beat the Olympic qualifying time of 2:08:10 — he finished in 2:08:00 — and unlocked a second spot at the Olympics for a U.S. runner.

“If an athlete unlocks a spot, he or she does not automatically get it. In the U.S., those spots go to the top three finishers of the Olympic Marathon Trials, which are scheduled for February 3 in Orlando, Florida,” according to Runner’s World.

Conner Mantz reflects on record run — and how it could have been even better

Like Mantz, Young beat his time from last year’s Chicago Marathon. But rather than shave off a few dozen seconds, he improved by nearly four minutes.

“Young, 30, has had a breakthrough year. He was 18th at last year’s Chicago in a then-PR of 2:11:51. Today’s performance betters his best time by nearly 4 minutes,” Runner’s World reported.

Mantz and Young’s strong performances came on a record-setting day in the running world. The Chicago Marathon’s top finisher, Kelvin Kiptum of Kenya, “demolished” the world marathon record with his time of 2:00:35, according to The Athletic.

View Comments

Kiptum is “the first person to ever run under 2:01 in a record-eligible marathon,” The Athletic reported.

How former BYU star Conner Mantz and other Utah ties fared in Day 1 at USA championships

Among the women racers, top finisher Sifan Hassan set a course record and nearly broke the world marathon record for women.

“She managed to race her way to a victory with an unofficial time of 2:13:44, topping the course record of 2:14:04, which was set by Brigid Kosgei in 2019 and was a world record at the time. The new world record, which was just set in Berlin ahead of the Chicago race, sits at 2:11:53,” NBC Chicago reported.

Hassan, who is from the Netherlands, also won the London Marathon this year.

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.