University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign committed track athlete Madison Hardamon didn’t always run for Evanston. At the beginning of her senior year, Hardamon transferred from Lincoln Park High School, and, although the transition had its difficulties, Hardoman gained more support than she thought possible.
“I was nervous transferring into a new school my senior year, but my teammates really made me feel like a part of the family, and I was able to find comfort and support in them,” Hardoman elaborates. “I’m going to miss the amount of resources and support I’ve had during my short time here. I can’t imagine how I would feel if I was here for all four years; the energy here is unmatchable.”
At her season opener with ETHS, Hardamon dropped a second off her 400-meter indoor PR, and the previous year, she even placed at state. However, those successes didn’t come without hard work and challenges along the way.
“I’ve had knee problems, shin problems, back problems, [and more]. It is physically a problem, but the mental problems you have when you want to run but can’t trumps any physical pain I’ve felt,” Hardamon explains. “I trained during quarantine to stay where I needed to be. It set a lot of people back, but I didn’t allow it to set me back.”
Going into the next four years of her life, Hardamon plans to major in quantitative economics and feels nothing but excited about the journey that awaits her at University of Illinois.
“My decision to run at Illinois was a combination of many things. I looked at social atmosphere, education, job placement and financial aid,” Hardoman concludes. “After looking at all of these things, I decided that Illinois was the best place for me.”