Despite coming from a family of runners, there was a time when the activity didn't exactly appeal to Chesterton's Kristen Homme.
"I thought it was boring, running in circles," she said. "I didn't run track until eighth grade. I wasn't planning to go out for (the high school team) for a while. I thought the cross country girls were so good, that they were so much faster than me because they trained all winter. A friend told me to come out anyway."
Two seasons and two trips to the state finals later, Homme and the Trojans track team have distance runner Kevin Kenney to thank for his encouragement.
"She's already at the point now where she could get some help in college," Chesterton coach Steve Kearney said. "If she steps it up, she's going to have her pick of a lot of colleges."
Homme's mom Barb was a record-setting miler at Portage, where she qualified for state, the same one Kristen will be running in for the second time Friday in Bloomington. Her uncle Steve also excelled with the Indians and now does marathons. Her uncle Mike and aunt Carol also ran.
"I was never really pressured to do it," Kristen said. "It's pretty cool (that my mom ran). Sometimes, she gives me advice, just to keep working hard, not to give up whether your times are showing it or not."
As a freshman, Homme made it into the 1,600 field when Valpo's Katelyn DeVries scratched, and finished 17th. She was also part of an all-underclassmen 3,200 relay that took 14th. She's added the 1,600 relay to her to-do list this season.
"I'm really excited," she said. "I think we have a chance to do really well in all of them. We knew the four-by-eight had a really good shot to go again. We PR'd by a lot last year, so I think we can do it again. I wanted to make it back this year in the 1,600 by myself. I wasn't even considering the four-by-four."
Chesterton won both relays at the regional, where Homme took a close second to DeVries in the 1,600.
"We have to be careful because she's one of those who wants to do everything," Kearney said. "We don't want to be overdoing it with her. We don't really know how good she could be in the longer stuff. She loves her sports, but I think she realizes she's a better runner than a soccer player."
That said, Homme won't be giving up soccer to run cross country.
"I get (asked) that a lot," she said. "I love soccer. I couldn't imagine not playing. I love basketball, too. At the start (of track), they're not running huge miles right away. I transition pretty well with all the other girls. I'm just going to take it season by season."
Right now, Homme's enjoying the different dynamics track brings. She's the leadoff leg on the 1,600 and the anchor on the 3,200.
"The (open) 1,600, it's just me," she said. "The relays, when I'm first, I always want to get us off to a good start. When I'm last, I know it's coming down to me. The other girls worked so hard to get me the lead, I have to fight for them."