By Greg Gielczyk

CUSTER — A multiple sport athlete, Mason County Eastern graduate Eli Shoup particularly excelled in cross country and track and field.

It is in those sports that Shoup, the son of Robert and Amanda Shoup, will be competing at Trine University next spring after signing a national letter of intent to attend the private university located in Angola, Ind. He plans to major in mechanical engineering.

I was pretty impressed with their engineering program when we visited,” Shoup said. “It’s a cool chance just to extend my athletic career. I’m not ready for sports to be done yet.”

Shoup was one position away from being All-State in cross country, then he went to basketball, where he was an All-Stater as voted by the coaches’ poll.

During the spring, Shoup split his time between baseball and track. He lettered in all but baseball.

Shoup was part of two relay teams that went to state. The 3200-meter relay team earned state honors. He also qualified for state in the 300 hurdles.

With all of his athletic achievements, Shoup still managed to excel in the classroom. He finished with a 4.0 grade point average while dual enrolled at West Shore Community College.

It was a lot of work, but it paid off,” said Shoup. “It was just a good high school experience.”

His academic achievements earned him more than $100,000 in scholarships. He also was also honored by State Farm.

Shoup also received the Ryan Shay Memorial Scholarship established in 2008 by H. Joseph and Susan M. Shay in memory of their son. Shay passed away from sudden heart failure. That award, by the Michigan Class D (Division 4) Cross Country Coaches Association, has been awarded annually since 2016.

It was no surprise that Shoup was named Eastern’s All-Around Senior at ceremonies in May.

“He’s quite a kid,” MCE cross country and track coach Ben Knizacky said. “He’s going to be a big loss. ‘Keep your nose to the grindstone,’ that was Eli. He was a distance runner and a hurdler for me. You could see steady improvement with everything he did, not only my sports but also the basketball. I know when I first introduced him to the hurdles as a sophomore, he thought I was crazy. It became a good event for him.

“Once he realized there were possibilities for him in it, he kept working on it and worked hard at it.”