The BYU men and women cross country teams competed in the National Championships on Saturday morning in Tallahassee, and left with two Individual National Championships.
Whittni Orton, who has been prolific in her BYU career, won the women’s individual title with a time of 19:25.4 in the 6000M final, beating Alabama’s defending national champion Mercy Chelangat by nearly four seconds. The team came in second overall.
On the men’s side, the team finished seventh overall, but was led by back-to-back individual National Champion Conner Mantz. Mantz will go down as the greatest distance runner in BYU history as he defended his title with a 28:33.1 10000M final time. He beat Iowa State’s Wesley Tiptoo by five seconds. Tiptoo was favored in the spring national championships when Mantz beat him and second place Adriaan Wildschutt (Florida State).
The results gave BYU the nation’s first duo Individual National Champions since 1988. Mantz’s repeat is the first achievement at nationals by any runner since 2014-15. Mantz is just a junior and if he returns will be the favorite to repeat yet again.