The 2024 Olympic Trials marathon will be remembered for the way training partners, Clayton Young and Connor Mantz made the team.

Training partners, Connor and Clayton are close. Coach Ed Eyestone, himself a two time Olympian, taught the dynamic duo well.

Connor Mantz is the more prominent, but Clayton Young, who finished 128th at the 2020 Trials, has a fascinating story as well. 

In the build up to Orlando, it seemed that 2:08.00 marathoner Young had little fanfare. Congrats for ASICS Ben Cesar to see his promise. 

Zach Panning brought them back to reality with a series of miles at 4:49-4:50 pace hitting halfway at 1:04.07 and destroying the hopes of many. The 60-70 degrees was not bad, but that, the moderate humidity and direct sun, took its toll.

Panning, Mantz and Young ran in single file until 23 miles, when Mantz and Young started to move away. 

Zach Panning would be passed by Elkinah Kibet, then Leonard Korir, the CJ Albertson. 

Clayton and Connor turned that last few miles into a fast training run.

We did not know if they would tie, like Frank Shorter and Kenny Moore did in 1972, or sprint to a mad finish.

In the end, Connor Mantz took the win in 2:09:05 and Clayton Young ran 2:09.06. 

Leonard Korir moved up from 4th in 2020 Atlanta  to 3rd in 2024 Orlando.