* Mason Kooi of Springfield Lutheran (IL) talks with MileSplit before his Illinois Boys State Championships
- - -
Mason Kooi remembers starting his track and field journey in the fifth grade where he explored his talents in the jumps, 800m and sprints. Now as a senior from Springfield Lutheran (IL), he finds himself in his final Illinois State Championships ready and excited to defend his high and triple jump titles.
"[I'm looking forward to] having fun," Kooi told MileSplit recently. "I've gotten everything I needed to get done accomplished when it comes to proving stuff. So I'm just here to have fun at this point and jump one last time."
In his opener of the season, Kooi cleared 7-0 at the Riverton Sports Complex to be Illinois No. 1 and US No. 8. For Kooi, he remembered that day like it was yesterday.
"Man, it was surreal," Kooi said. "I relieve that moment quite a few times."
Now at his final state championships, Kooi has the 1A state meet record of 7-1.50, which was set back in 2016 by Darryl Sullivan, on his mind.
Alongside the high jump, Kooi feels that he can excel in the horizontal jumps at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston this weekend. So far this season, he's long jumped 22-1 and triple jumped 43-5.25 this spring.
- WATCH: IHSA Boys Outdoor Championships LIVE on MileSplit
- IHSA Boys State Championship Meet Page
- 2023 IHSA Boys State Championship Central
- 2023 Boys State Meet Preview: All Trophies Up For Grabs