Fieldcrest’s Mason Stoeger places seventh at state cross country meet

A-L-O’s Brock Loftus finishes 26th as Clippers place 22nd as a team

PEORIA – Mason Stoeger saved his best cross country race for when it mattered most.

The Fieldcrest senior placed seventh in the IHSA Class 1A State Meet on Saturday at Detweiller Park in Peoria with a time of 14:58 over the 3-mile course.

With his finish, he received All-State honors as the top 25 finishers medal.

“This is incredible,” Stoeger said with a big smile on his face. “I felt so good during the race and I can’t believe how hard and fast it was at the start and it just kept going. I really made a move on the downhill sections because I knew everyone would be hurting coming up the final hill to the finish.

“I’m so proud, especially to do this in my last high school race. To finish in the top 10 is big, really big for me and to be honest I was just hoping to be near the top 10.”

Amboy-LaMoille-Ohio finished 22nd as a team and was led by the 26th-place finish of Brock Loftus, who ran 15:36, just missing All-State honors by two seconds. Kyler McNinch was 82nd (16:24) and Ian Eller placed 90th (16:25).

Bureau Valley junior Elijah House finished 156th among the 250 runners with a time of 16:57.93.

In the 1A girl’s race, Princeton junior Lexi Bohms placed 72nd among the 256 finishers, running a 19:15.

Bohms’ finish was the ninth best ever for a Princeton girl at the state meet and her time ranks 14th in school history for female cross country runners.

“At last week’s Oregon Sectional, Lexi picked it up a notch to qualify for state,” Princeton coach Pat Hodge said. “Today, she picked it up even another notch or two to have her best race ever up to this point. She took a good 30 seconds or more off of her previous personal best. It was just very exciting to see her get up into the thick of things and keep it going. The first and second halves of her race were within 15 seconds of each other, which was excellent. I was very proud of her race. She really ended the season with a string of excellent races at regional, sectionial and state. She just kept getting better and better. It was a thrilling way to end the season.”

In 2A, La Salle-Peru had two finishers in the boy’s race as Matt Beard was 121st (16:20) and Ryan Hartman was 127th (16:22).