Pine River runners keep improving

LEROY – Greg Schaefer and Rachel Hartline have both been making huge contributions for the Pine River cross country attack this season.

The Bucks are gearing up for the October part of the schedule which included the home invitational Saturday.

Schaefer, a senior, has been running cross country since the seventh grade.

“My freshman year I got 19 (minutes) and my sophomore year I got 18 and junior year I got 17 so this year I’m trying to get 16,” he said.

His career best was 17:42 coming into this season. He’s been at 18:18 this year.

“I mostly train all year round,” Schaefer said. “A couple of more meets and I should be there.”

He’s been second or third usually on the team this season.

The middle is usually the strongest part of Schafer’s race...he’s working on having more endurance in the last mile.

“Our boys team is looking good,” Schaefer said. “We’re only 18 points from going to state this year. We have guys that aren’t even on their peak yet.”

Colder and truer cross country weather is starting to settle in.

“That should drop the times really good,” he said.

Schaefer also runs distances in track but prefers cross country.

“Longer is better for me,” he said.

Hartline is a senior in her third year of cross country.

“My first year, I didn’t know what to expect but I felt good,” she said. “Last year, I did real good. I improved my time a lot.”

Hartline battled hip problems in mid-season last fall.

Her best time has been 24:15 this season and 23:45 all-time. She also had pneumonia in late July, which curtailed her running schedule. But she’s at 100 percent now and getting back into it.

Hartline has been the Bucks’ fourth runner; anywhere from third to fifth.

“I always go hard the first mile and at the end,” she said.