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Training Partners Conner Mantz And Clayton Young Go 1-2 At Olympic Trials Securing Spots On Team USA

The pair came in with the two fastest qualification times and have now punched their ticket to Paris. Leonard Korir came from behind to take third place

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Training Partners Conner Mantz And Clayton Young Go 1-2 At Olympic Trials Securing Spots On Team USA 1
Photo: Derek Call

Snapshot:

  • Mantz and Young both had to finish in the top two in order to guarantee an Olympic Berth
  • Leonard Korir must wait to see if the third slot is “unlocked” for Team USA
  • Heartbreak for Zach Panning, who led for much of the race; he faded to sixth

For many American marathoners, today was arguably one of the biggest races of their lives: The U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

The chance to make an Olympic team only comes around once every four years. Today, in the streets of Orlando, two men would realize their dreams and punch their ticket to Paris. 

The men’s race was guaranteed to be exciting. With only two guaranteed spots on the start line in Paris currently, it was only the top two runners (as opposed to the usual top three) who earned their spot on Team USA.

Training Partners Conner Mantz And Clayton Young Go 1-2 At Olympic Trials Securing Spots On Team USA 2
Photo: Derek Call

For the third-placed runner, their Olympic dreams hang in limbo, likely until May. Unless an American man runs under the Olympic A standard (2:08:10), they will rely on World Athletics Rankings, which won’t be confirmed until this spring.

However, if the U.S. men are given a third spot, it will go to the third-place runner.

As expected, the men’s race was aggressive from the gun.

A large bunch stayed together throughout the beginning of the race, and the pace wasn’t letting up.

Eventually, a group of about 13 men broke away and included the likes of Conner Mantz, Clayton Young, Galen Rupp, some of the race favorites, as well as Zach Panning, Leonard Korir, and Andrew Colley.

Training Partners Conner Mantz And Clayton Young Go 1-2 At Olympic Trials Securing Spots On Team USA 3
Photo: Derek Call

Coming through the half-marathon mark in 64:07, it was clear the leaders had one thing in mind: Running Olympic A standard and getting Team USA that third spot.

It was at the 20-mile mark that the men’s race began to split apart. A small group of three, including race favorites Conner Mantz and Clayton Young, alongside Zach Panning. 

Panning wasn’t pinned as a top contender in the race, coming in with a personal best of 2:09:28 from the 2022 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, but was the one leading the trio.

With just over two miles to go, Panning began to fade and gave away 18 seconds to Mantz and Young, the lone two leaders, after crossing mile 24.

It would be a dream day for training partners and college teammates Conner Mantz and Clayton Young, as they would go 1-2 at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, both securing their place at the start line in Paris.

Training Partners Conner Mantz And Clayton Young Go 1-2 At Olympic Trials Securing Spots On Team USA 4

Conner Mantz would edge out Clayton Young, running 2:09:04 and 2:09:05, respectively.

Rounding off the podium was Leonard Korir with a time of 2:09:57. Unlike previous Olympic cycles, Korir is not guaranteed to go to Paris. Rather, he will have to wait until another American runs Olympic A standard or when the final World Athletics Rankings are revealed in May.

Training Partners Conner Mantz And Clayton Young Go 1-2 At Olympic Trials Securing Spots On Team USA 5

Top 10 Results

1. Conner Mantz (2:09:05)

2. Clayton Young (2:09:06)

3, Leonard Korir (2:09:57)

4. Elkanah Kibet (2:10:02)

5. CJ Albertson (2:10:07)

6. Zachery Panning (2:10:50)

7. Nathan Martin (2:11:00)

8. Josh Izewski (2:11:09)

9. Reed Fischer (2:11:34)

10. Colin Bennie (2:12:17)

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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