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TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2007
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Falkville's Shane Edge anchors chase to 2A boys state title

By Brooke Milam
bmilam@decaturdaily.com 340-2460

When Falkville High senior Shane Edge crossed the finish line for the final time as a high school athlete, he knew he and his track and field teammates had done something special.

The Blue Devils won the Class 2A state team championship, something they barely missed in 2006 when Falkville finished runner-up. Edge anchored the winning 1,600-meter relay team in his last performance at the state meet, and even though he managed two other individual championships, he said that winning the state team title was what made his senior year stand out.

"It makes me feel like we accomplished something as a school," Edge said. "I felt like this was probably one of my best years. I feel like I've improved a lot and accomplished a lot. I think I did well, and my whole team did well."

Edge also defended his individual state titles in the 400 meters and 800 meters. He set a 2A state record in the 800 by finishing in 1 minute, 58.31 seconds. He was also second in the 200 meters.

For his accomplishments this season, Edge is The Decatur Daily's boys track athlete of the year, a title he also earned last year as a junior.

"I think Shane really impressed people this year," Falkville coach Karen Wilemon said. "He improved with his leadership skills, and that's where he added a lot this year — encouraging the younger runners. It benefited the team and it benefited him, too."

Edge continued his dominance of the 400 meters, an event he won at this year's indoor state meet.

Wilemon said that while Edge has excelled as an individual, he also has a team mindset.

Being part of a relay team meant he could enter one less individual event — athletes are allowed to enter a maximum of four events.

Wilemon said it has kept Edge from winning most valuable performer honors for various meets, but it was something Edge was willing to sacrifice.

Falkville's boys set a 2A record for points scored, totaling 193 at the state meet for a convincing win over Lanett, which scored 72.5 points. Including the points earned by the winning relay team, Edge contributed the most to the winning team total of any Falkville athlete. The group also won the state indoor title in March — the school's first boys team championship in any sport.

"The kids recognized his leadership and appreciated that," Wilemon said.

Edge and sophomore teammate Jace Wilemon were voted team captains this season by their teammates. Edge also was voted most valuable in sprints. He teamed with Jace Wilemon, Justin Blanchard and Jonathan McNatt to defend Falkville's state crown in the 1,600-meter relay.

Edge said he respects his fellow Blue Devils for more reasons than a shared championship.

Edge has often said that some of his toughest competition came from within his own team. In fact, in Edge's 800-meter win, teammates Jace Wilemon and Blanchard finished third and fourth, respectively. All three passed the state record in the event.

"They always push me, whether it's in practice or meets," Edge said.

Karen Wilemon said Edge has received interest from collegiate programs, including Wallace State-Hanceville, West Alabama and Samford. Though he is undecided on his plans for next year, she said Edge has the skills, both physically and mentally, to continue his career.

"He works very hard and I hope that he shines somewhere next year," Karen Wilemon said. "He's got the talent and the work ethic to do big things."

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