LEROY — Derek Hartline has been providing depth and talent on a Pine River boys and track team that has been a Highland Conference contender this season.

At the recent Pine River Invitational, Hartline, a junior, was second in 5:17.13 and was the third leg of the 1,600-meter relay team that was first in 3:48.94.

He’s been running the 400, 800, 1,600 and 3.200. Earlier in the week at a home meet, he clocked a 5:05 in the 1,600 for a personal best this season. He’s had a 2:16 in the 800.

Hartline is in his fifth track season overall and his third in high school. He’s seen extensive improvement from last season.

“As of right now, I’ve improved four seconds in the 800 and I have 10 seconds to get off in the mile,” Hartline said at a recent meet.

The 1,600-meter run is his best event.

“I want to run a 4:45,” he said. “It will take a lot of hard work and dedication.”

His second best event is the 800.

“I want to break 2:10,” he said. “Like I said, it takes a lot of confidence and just a lot of hard to work to put into it. I have to work on speed and distance.”

Pine River was at the Highland Conference meet Tuesday at Marion.

“I feel like we’re pretty strong this year,” Hartline said. “If we all work together, we can score the points we need and hopefully take conference. Our distances are very strong.”