Local ties in BYU NCAA cross country national championships

Monticello native Sarah Musselman finished in 33rd place in the NCAA cross country championships on Monday, March 15 and helped the BYU women win their fifth cross country national championship in school history.

Musselman completed the 6,000-meter Stillwater, OK course in 20 minutes, 51 seconds and was one of five Cougar women in the top 41 at the event.

The team championship was BYU’s first for the women in 19 years.

The top five runners for each team contribute to the team score, putting an incredible amount of pressure on the fourth and fifth place runners for each school.

Musselman was the fourth finisher for BYU and was critical to the Cougars in clinching the title.

Musselman, who is a senior at BYU, is the daughter of Ronnie and the late Tammy Musselman. She grew up in Monticello before moving away when she was 14.

Southern Utah is well-represented in the BYU championship as top BYU finisher Anna Camp is from Fillmore and third BYU finisher Whittni Orton hails from Panguitch.

On the men’s side, the individual national champion also has ties to San Juan County.

BYU junior Connor Mantz finished the 10,000-meter men’s course in 29:26, 22 seconds ahead of Florida State’s Adriaan Wildschutt.

Connor is the grandson of Paul Mantz of Monticello and Lorraine Peterson of Provo. His parents are Robert and Joana Mantz of Smithfield, UT.

Connor’s father Robert is a 1986 graduate of San Juan High School.

Mantz is the first American to win the NCAA individual cross country title since 2008 and is earning status as one of the best distance runners in the world.

At a 5,000-meter race at the University of Washington in February, he crossed the finish line in 13:28 – the fastest time in the world this year by more than nine seconds and six seconds faster than the BYU indoor school record.

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