By David Paulsen

Sports Correspondent

Two weeks ago after the Southern Lakes Conference Relays, Waterford High School head cross country coach Nate Schreiber said he was setting a goal for his top five boys to run under 17 minutes 30 seconds.

On Saturday, at the Muskego Cross Country Invite, Schreiber’s top five boys nearly met that goal.

Four Wolverine boys ran under 17:30, with the fifth clocked in 17:33.

“I could not ask anything more of these guys right now,” Schreiber said. “The results are very promising for this time of year. They are progressing.”

Schreiber called this year’s Wolverine boys’ squad one of the most interesting he has ever coached. He noted all five are running as a pack and meeting time goals, yet the team still finished sixth in the 16-team meet. What the team lacks this season that it had for four previous years was a runner who could finish in the top five.

Grant Brooks led the boys with a time of 17:09.46, a lifetime personal best. That was good enough for 23rd overall.

Kurt Sustachek knocked nearly a minute off his previous lifetime best time with a 17:17.22.

“He’s getting in shape,” Schreiber said of Sustachek, noting that Sustachek began the season with a foot injury. “The sky’s the limit.”

Kody Brand was clocked in 17:21.37, Mitch Singer in 17:26.23, and Brandon Bergersen in 17:33.48.

All five of those boys ran season bests, with Bergerson’s time also a lifetime best.

Mychal Grube came in sixth in 17:56.72 and Karl Chic right behind him in 17:57.09. Alexander Gasiorow ran an 18:04.61.

Schreiber said the new goal for his top five boys is to run under 17:10.

“That’s aggressive,” he noted.

The girls’ squad, which Schreiber was disappointed in the previous week, improved Saturday. The team finished seventh overall.

“I felt they took a step in the right direction,” he said.

Four of the top five Wolverine girls ran under 17 minutes, led by Rhea Fiorita’s 15:53.92, a season best for her.

Makenna Reed turned in a time of 16:43.59; Kayla Butscher a time of 16:49.58, and Dawn Brintnall a time of 16:54.75.

“It’s a big mental barrier to get from the 17 mark into the 16 mark,” Schreiber said.

Reed’s time was a lifetime best, while Fiorita, Butscher and Brintnall ran season bests.

The fifth fastest Wolverine girl was Hannah Jost in 17:03.82.

Kayla Kinateder was clocked in 17:31.07 and Shannon Malchine in 17:33.39.

Two of Waterford’s junior varsity girls actually turned in faster times than Kinateder and Malchine. Jennifer Murphy ran a 17:12.8 and Valerie Knurr a 17:17.75.

Due to their times, Murphy and Knurr, who both have some varsity experience, will be back on the varsity squad this week at the Mukwonago Invitational.

Schreiber noted that his JV coaches are doing a great job.

“This is one of the most talented and consistent JV groups,” Schreiber said.

Because of that, there is some fierce competition on both squads for the No. 6 and No. 7 spots on varsity.