Meet Your Footlocker Finalist: Clayton Mendez

Clayton Mendez has been a tremendous source of pride for Chicago Public League distance running

Clayton Mendez I Chicago Whitney Young l SENIOR

Regional Finish: 3rd- 15:07

As an incoming freshman Clayton Mendez was one of the most anticipated newcomers to the sport of cross country. He would go on to run a three-mile personal best of 14:58 and finish 58th overall in the 3A state championship. Only fellow future stars Charlie Kern of York and Jack Becker of Crystal Lake South performed better. Through some ups and downs over the next few corresponding years, Mendez has exploded in his senior year. He finished 2nd to Danny Kilrea in the state championship while running a personal best 14:20. No other Chicago boy has run faster. The confidence is still high after earning All-American honors last weekend in Portland, OR at the Nike Cross Nationals. 

Mendez will have one more opportunity to run a lifetime best in the 5k in sunny San Diego this weekend. More importantly, though, is the chance to build lasting friendships with other elite runners. Mendez will get a taste of competing in California a year ahead of schedule as he will attend Stanford University.