July 14, 2024


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A look at former and current Utah State athletes trying to make the U.S. Olympic Team

A look at former and current Utah State athletes trying to make the U.S. Olympic Team

PROVO – Tracktown, USA, is in the Pacific Northwest starting this weekend as the United States Olympic Team Trials kick off on the University of Oregon campus, the first stop on the road to the Summer Olympics in Paris this summer.

For many athletes, the journey to Paris began with Eugene, Utah.

BYU will send 22 athletes to the Olympic Trials starting Friday, where every event will be It was broadcast live on Peacock and select events were broadcast on NBC and USA Network.

The Cougars have qualified 17 entries for the Olympic Trials, which will be held June 21-30 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. That’s the most of any NCAA Division I program, plus five BYU alumni who will try to make the U.S. team for Paris as professional athletes.

That includes 11 athletes vying for a spot on Team USA who will have come from or gone through college, with qualifiers in each distance event — the only school in the country to have such a claim. The top three finishers in each event who meet the Olympic qualifying standard will qualify for the Paris Games.

“We are excited to send 21 athletes to the Olympic Trials, and we also have 17 participants from our current collegiate athletes,” said BYU head coach Ed Easton, who is also a personal training coach for Olympic and alumni marathoners such as Conner Mantz and Clayton. young man. “That BYU has more entries than any other university or college is an indication of how successful we are at recruiting and developing American talent. We will be seeing a lot of BYU uniforms in the next 10 days and we hope to give Conner Mantz and Clayton Young some of those uniforms.” Additional Colleagues On BYU’s team for the trip to Paris.”

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Kenneth Rooks, a former national champion from BYU who has signed with Nike, will be considered among the favorites to qualify in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Rooks, who grew up in Walla Walla, Washington, still trains and works regularly with Utah State Run the elite programthe state-funded organization founded by Olympian Jared Ward, Salt Lake Community College head coach Isaac Wood and former BYU-Hawaii football player Landon Southwick and which is funded in part by a $160,000 grant from the Utah legislature to attract long-distance athletes to Utah. .

“REP is really new. When I first came to Utah, REP wasn’t a thing,” Rooks told KSL-TV before leaving for Eugene. “I moved here in 2018. Now, I feel like I’m on a good track with my training to make the US Olympic Team and I’m really excited about this opportunity if that’s what ends up happening.”

Having already secured one of two Team USA qualifying spots during the US Marathon Trials earlier this year, Mantz – who runs professionally for Nike – will also compete for a spot in the 10,000m.

More than two dozen athletes with Utah ties will compete in the U.S. Olympic Qualifiers in the eighth-ever schedule of the event at Hayward Field in what is known as Track Town USA.

That includes Utah State star Shari Hawkins, who finished eighth in the women’s heptathlon at last year’s world championships in Budapest, Hungary. The five-time Aggie All-American collected a personal best of 6,366 points, putting herself in contention for a medal until her 18th-place finish in the 800 meters in the seventh and final event.

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Weber State will send a pair of throwers to the Olympic Trials for the first time in program history when Cody Canard and Josh Travney throw the javelin. Both earned a qualifying spot with career-best performances at the first outdoor meet of the season at St. George, where Canard broke the school and Big Sky record in the event by nearly 30 feet with a throw of 256-02.

The list below is a look at every Utah Olympian, ranked by school. Other athletes with ties to Utah include Cooper Bibbs, who was born in Ogden but grew up in Oceanside, Calif., before starting his college career at CSU Fullerton. The 100-meter racer has a personal best time of 10.01 seconds, which currently ranks ninth nationally among American professionals (Noah Lyles is first with a time of 9.83).

Grant Fisher, the former Stanford University standout and American record holder in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters, is one of many athletes who train in Utah, whether through the Run Elite program or through other sponsorships.


  • Cameron Bates, javelin (Maple Mountain HS)
  • Megan Hunter, 800m (Provo HS)
  • James Corrigan, 3000m steeplechase
  • Jaslyn Gardner, 100 million (Enterprise HS)
  • Danny Bryant, shot put
  • Casey Klinger, 10,000m (American Fork HS)
  • Creed Thompson, 10,000m (Skyridge HS)
  • Sebastian Fernandez, 800 AD
  • Rayleigh Chamberlain, 1600 AD
  • Alyssa Keller, Spear
  • Dallin Shorts, discus
  • Sierra Tidwell Alvin, high jump
  • Taylor Lovell, 3,000-meter steeplechase
  • Lexi Halladay-Lowry, 3,000-meter steeplechase
  • Riley Hunt, 100-meter hurdles
  • Lucas Pons, 1500 AD
  • *Kenneth Rooks, 3000m steeplechase
  • *Whitney Orton Morgan, 5000m (Richfield HS)
  • *Conner Mantz, 10,000m (Sky View HS)
  • *Courtney Wayment Smith, 3,000-meter steeplechase (Davis HS)
  • *Anna Camp Bennett, 1500 AD (Millard HS)
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*Indicates graduates who have turned professional

University of Utah

  • Janelle Branch, 20K walk (Utah assistant track and field coach)*

_*He withdrew late Thursday after qualifying With a knee injury_


  • Logan Hammer, pole vault
  • Shari Hawkins, heptathlon
  • Dillon Maggard, 5000m

Utah Valley

Weber State

  • Cody Canard, Spear
  • Josh Travney, Spear