An early look at Latter-day Saint athletes going to the Paris Olympic Games

Kenneth Rooks, returned missionary and former NCAA champion at BYU, won the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the U.S. Olympic Trials and will likely make the team

Two members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints finished in the top three in the finals of the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, on Sunday, June 23, placing themselves in a position to compete for the United States at the Olympic Games in Paris, France, this summer.

Kenneth Rooks, former NCAA champion from BYU and a returned missionary, won the event with a time of 8:21.92.

James Corrigan, also a returned missionary and BYU sophomore, surprised many by finishing third in 8:26.78.

“I’m so very happy for both of them,” said Ed Eyestone, BYU director of track and field. “We couldn’t have drawn it up any better than that. Top three at the Olympic Trials. You just can’t ask for more than that.”

Despite finishing in the top three, neither runner has met the Olympic qualifying standard of 8:15.00 and therefore must await selection for Team USA on July 7. Each country is allotted three spots.

Rooks is close, with a season-best time of 8:15.08, and is expected to make the Olympic team.

Corrigan, who served his mission in Madagascar and Arizona, was outside of the top 36 prior to the race and will need to fall within that time by June 30 to be selected to the U.S. Team. Eyestone has arranged a race for him on Saturday, June 29, in Pennsylvania for a chance to qualify.

Meghan Hunter

BYU’s Meghan Hunter finished seventh in her heat and posted the day’s 22nd fastest time — 2:03.27 — in the semifinals of the 800-meter run.

BYU middle distance runner Meghan Hunter and BYU women's track and cross country Diljeet Taylor.
BYU middle distance runner Meghan Hunter is pictured with BYU women's track and cross country coach Diljeet Taylor at the NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Mike A. Myers Stadium at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas, on June 10, 2023. | Joey Garrison, BYU

Hunter earned first team All-American honors earlier this year by placing third at the 2024 NCAA indoor championships and was a top-three finalist for the Honda Inspiration Award by the Collegiate Women’s Sports Awards.

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Cameron Bates

Cameron Bates, who recently finished his senior year at BYU, placed ninth in the finals of the javelin with a throw of 228 feet, 4 inches. Bates served a Latter-day Saint mission in Lima, Peru.

Latter-day Saints going to Paris

Other Latter-day Saints who have qualified for the Paris games include:

Conner Mantz and Clayton Young — friends, training partners, former BYU runners and Latter-day Saint returned missionaries — clinched the two guaranteed spots on the Olympic team for Paris by placing first and second, respectively, in the marathon at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Marathon Trials in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday, Feb. 3.

Former BYU basketball star Jimmer Fredette for USA Basketball’s first-ever 3x3 Olympic team in March.

Courtney Wayment is a favorite to make the team in the women’s steeplechase.

Crédito: Jaren Wilkey/BYU

Latter-day Saint Summer Olympians, Paralympians

Athletes from around the world will compete in the Summer Olympics in Paris, France, July 26 to Aug. 11 and the Paralympics, Aug. 28 to Sept. 8.

As the trials are completed, the Church News is looking for information about Latter-day Saint athletes. Please send information about 2024 Olympians and Paralympians, including name, country and event, to

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