By Nicole Minier
LIGONIER — Churubusco’s cross country season came to a close Saturday at the West Noble Regional.
The Eagles adanced four runners out of the previous week’s sectional — Sam Keily, Levi Skinner, Allie Basinger and Maggie Burita.
Keily had the strongest finish out of ’Busco’s runners, placing 50th with a time of 17:34.09. Skinner placed 78th. In the girls race, Basiner ran a personal-best time for the West Noble course, 22:43.55, to place 71st and Burita came in 79th.
Though only four runners competed on the course Saturday, nearly all of the team’s boys and girls runners woke up at 6 a.m. to meet at Churubusco High School and join their teammates at the regional.
“Almost all of them still showed up for practices last week — they’re all supporting of each other,” said head coach Kermit Hogeston.
Hogeston promotes a family atmosphere with his team, which will continue through the offseason.
“During the team meetings I tell them, ‘You’re brothers and sisters. You’re all in this together — support each other and help each other out,’” Hogeston said.
In the time between cross country and track, those who don’t participate in a winter sport will continue to run. In the summer between track and cross country seasons, Hogeston said the runners spend 3-4 days a week together, running at various places such as Morsches Park in Columbia City or Chain-O-Lakes state park.
Hogeston took over has head coach about three years ago. The season before he joined, there were only nine runners on the team. Now, there’s 19.
“We’ve had great growth,” Hogeston said. “We’re going to keep adding to it and become a cross country powerhouse eventually,” Hogeston said. “Anyone who is interested or looks like they can run, we invite them to hang out with our team.”