In honor of National Student-Athlete Day, the Marine Corps Marathon Organization (MCMO) is highlighting student-athletes who are excelling in and out of the classroom, but especially on the track.
One such bright star is Great Falls, VA resident and active MCMO event participant, Clayton Stoil. The 16-year-old is a student at Langley High School and a member of the cross country and track and field teams. He can also be found frequently running with the Marines and consistently finishing with pride.
Stoil started running with his mom when he was in the third grade, but didn’t get into competitive running until 2019 when he joined his school’s running program. He ran his first race in September and then signed up for the MCMO’s Turkey Trot 10K in November and the Medal of Honor 8K in December, finishing 32nd out of 906 participants (41:37) and 9th out of 262 participants (34:31) respectively. That year, he snagged his first age award at the Turkey Trot 10K.
“Knowing that there is always a new goal to strive for keeps me going,” said Stoil, who mainly runs the 5K for cross country and the 3,200m, 1,600m or the 1,000m and pole vault for track.
In 2020, Stoil earned second place in the Frozen Chosin 7.0 Miler event with a time of 47:18, followed by an impressive second place finish at the 2021 adidas Indoor Track Nationals for the 1,600m racewalk.
After completing each MCMO event, Stoil can then be found volunteering with his mom at the finish line hospitality area and cheering on his fellow runners. “The MCMO staff and running community is filled with very kind and fun people, thereby providing more incentive to volunteer and enjoy time with them,” Stoil said.
He just ran his longest distance so far, the Marine Corps 17.75K, finishing 5th overall in 1:16:42 and earning another age award. He is looking forward to participating in his next MCMO event, the Quantico Crucible.
Stoil’s advice for other runners his age: “Keep pushing yourself and don’t skip out your workouts.”
Check out more stories of young athletes and military children running to keep healthy and active.