AUSTIN, TX (ABC4 Sports) – The odds were in BYU’s favor as the Cougars qualified an NCAA record six runners in the 10,000 meters final at the National Championships.
But Clayton Young was the best of them all.
Young became BYU’s first outdoor track and field national champion in 10 years, pulling away from Alabama’s Gilbert Kigen on the last lap of the race to cross the finish line in 29:16.60 to claim the individual title. The senior is the first Cougar men’s outdoor National Champion since Kyle Perry won the men’s steeplechase in 2009.
“I feel a lot of gratitude for my coach, for my teammates and my family,” Young said. “It took a whole family and team for me to do this. I feel really blessed to represent BYU.”
Young is BYU’s first national champion in the 10,000 meters since current head coach Ed Eyestone did it in 1985.
All-Americans Connor McMillan and Conner Mantz both also placed in the top five. McMillan took third place (29:19.85) and Mantz finished fourth overall (29:19.93). The three combined to score 21 points for BYU to put the Cougars in second place at the end of the first day.
“I often jokingly say that the 10,000m is the most exciting race and tonight it was,” Eyestone said. “I’m proud of all six that ended up on the track tonight and then to get three guys in the top five is phenomenal.”