Edison turns the light on for H-F girls track and Vikes head to state

Alex Edison is aiming high.

The Homewood-Flossmoor High School senior will lead the Vikings girls track team into the state championship this weekend on the campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. 

“I’m planning on being on the podium for everything,” Edison said. “I want to win state for the 400 (meter dash), the 100, the (400 relay), hopefully the (200).” 

Sprinter Alex Edison is seeded in the top five in four events as Homewood-Flossmoor tries to win another girls track state title Saturday. (David P. Funk/H-F Chronicle)

Edison won the 100, 200, 400 and ran a leg on the second-place 400 relay team. In the process, she set a new personal record and broke 12 seconds in the 100, taking first with a time of 11.99.

“At first, they were like ‘Alex, you ran an 11.9’ and I was like ‘No, you’re lying,’” she said. “When it officially showed up as 11.99, I was like ‘Oh my god.’” 

The 400 is what both she and Coach Terrance Terry believe is her best event, though. As a freshman, she led off a state championship 1,600-meter relay team. The older 400 runners in that group helped in her development.

“They really guided me to the path that I’m on right now,” she said. 

That kind of guidance has always been there for Edison.

Edison’s mom, Artkeyta Moore-Edison, was a state qualifier in her days at Richards and currently coaches at Hillcrest. Track was never something that Alex Edison had to do, though. She knew early on that she had a talent for it and it was fun, so sprinting won out over her other athletic pursuits like swimming and volleyball. 

“Once I found out I was good at it and found a niche for it, it just really stuck,” Edison said. 

The state meet gives her a chance to finish off a terrific individual high school career with a bang. 

“I want to be on the podium. I need to come home with some hardware, hopefully a couple golds and maybe a silver. That would be just fine.”

Alex Edison, H-F High School track sprinter

Her sophomore season was canceled due to the pandemic. As a junior, Edison was second in the 400 and with the 400-meter relay team but didn’t win any events. Standing atop that podium, like she did as a ninth grader, is a feeling she hopes to get again.

She wants some of the younger Vikings to feel it, too.

“That was a big moment for me. When I came on to the team that freshman year I knew there was great talent. I’m really happy that talent has continued to roll in,” she said. “I really do believe in leading by example, just making sure the environment is nice and open for everybody to have their own opinions and be able to grow and become great athletes together.” 

As a program, the Vikings have a storied history that includes 21 top-10 finishes at the state meet dating back to 1991. H-F won the Class 3A title in 2019 and has finished second three times since 2017, including a year ago.

A victory this weekend would be the first state title for Terry, who took over the Vikings program in 2020.

“We’re not looking for any kind of Herculean efforts. We’re looking for our athletes to go out and continue to do what they’ve done all season, continue on that trajectory,” Terry said. “I think it’s going to be a good Saturday for us. If we can go out and we can run in those time ranges and maybe a little faster because of the adrenaline in the atmosphere, we have a good chance to be successful.” 

In the way is Lincoln-Way East, a Southwest Suburban Conference rival that won the team state championship in 2021 with a 56-50 advantage over second-place H-F. Terry said he and the coaching staff have tried to use that as motivation this season. 

The Vikings beat the Knights 222-208 in the sectional this year. 

“We were No. 2 in the conference, the sectional and the state meet (in 2021). To have the state champion be your next-door neighbor and compete against them over and over, it wears on you a little bit,” Terry said. “I think one of the greatest moments we’ve had in a while was to get over that hump.” 

The chance to bring home another state championship is something most programs have to wait for a lot longer than H-F has. That’s a fact not lost on Terry. He wants to capitalize on the moment with Division I athletes like Edison around. 

Edison signed in December to run for the University of Iowa. She was impressed by the facilities and coaches in the Hawkeyes program. The roster of sprinters is thin enough that it may offer her a chance to compete early, as well.

Before she heads to Iowa City, though, Edison has one more meet to secure her legacy at Homewood-Flossmoor. 

“I want to be on the podium. I need to come home with some hardware, hopefully a couple golds and maybe a silver. That would be just fine,” she said. 

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