Jeff Stipp began his running career at Hoopeston East-Lynn in 1978. His sophomore year he ran track. He and his teammates were State Champions in the 2 mile relay with a time of 7:59. Finishing in under 8 minutes was quite a feat.
His junior year Jeff joined cross country and he managed the title of Conference Champion that year. He finished 15th in State that year with a time of 15:15. He continued his track career his junior year as well. He finished 11th in State in the 880 yard run and the anchored the 2 mile relay that finished 10th in State.
Stipp ran in his second year of Cross County in 1979. He set several course records that year, including one at Hoopeston’s McFarren Park. Individually, Jeff was the Conference and Regional Champion and placed 3rd at the Sectional Meet. More determined than ever, Jeff went on to a snow covered State course and beat everyone that beat him at the sectional meet to finish an impressive 2nd in State with a time of 14:54. This is the top 25th time in Illinois State history for the now retired Class A.
His final track season at Hoopeston East-Lynn was one to remember. Coaches Bob Doty and Quentin Ryder decided they would “run” Jeff into shape that year by placing him in the 2 mile, 1 mile and the mile relay for every competition. Jeff went to State in all three events. Stipp won every single 2 mile run that he competed in. He finished the season undefeated with a State Championship time of 9:17. This was the school record and the 13th fastest time in the Class A Illinois State history.
Also undefeated in the 1 mile run until the State Finals, Jeff finished 5th at State that year. He ran a 4:20 flat at the qualifying race the day before which ended up to be a faster time that the winning time that year. Jeff’s 1 mile relay finished 6th in State with a time of 3:28. Hoopeston’s team finished 7th in State that year.
Over the course of his running career at Hoopeston East-Lynn, Stipp set several invitational and area track records. He still holds 4 Hoopeston Area school records in the 2 mile relay, 2 mile run, 1 mile relay and 1 mile run. Those records have stood for more than 30 years.
Stipp continued his love for running at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. He traveled all over the Midwest competing against conferences such as the Big 10, SEC, ACC, Missouri Valley and the Big East. He ran against some of the best runners in the world. Jeff ran the 800 in a time of 1:50, placing him the 5th fastest time in Murray State history. He was named All-Conference in the NCAA Division 1 Ohio Valley Conference in both track and cross country. He was also named team captain his junior and senior years in both track and cross country. He later went on to compete in the Chicago Marathon in 1999 and 2000.