High 5s: 5/29/12

May 31, 2012

Each week, Second Half gives "High 5s" to athletes and a team based on their accomplishments the previous week or throughout the season. 

This week's individual recipients will finish their MHSAA careers Saturday hoping to add to championship resumes -- while our team honoree is hoping to take the first step this weekend toward a first Finals title in program history.

Latipha Cross
Southfield senior
Track and Field

Cross won both the 200 (25.56) and 400 meters (55.98) at the Oakland County Invitational, setting a meet record in the latter. Her 400 win avenged a Regional loss to Birmingham Seaholm's Aubrey Wilberding the week before. Cross also finished second in the 200 at the Regional and is qualified to run both at Saturday's MHSAA Division 1 Final at East Kentwood. She's hoping to improve on the all-Finals record she set last season in the 400 of 54.29 seconds -- and believes she can break 54 this weekend. She's signed to run next season at Eastern Michigan University -- and has beaten two forms of cancer the last two years, plus spent a short time homeless.

My favorite runner: "All-time, it's Sanya Richards (Olympic medalist and World Champion sprinter). I just love how she runs, the fact that she's always looking forward to getting better. She'll run a 50 that day (in the 400), and say 'I can do better than that.' I love that about her. She's never satisfied."

Hoop dreams: "Basketball was my first love, but track is the sport that gets me my money," Cross said with a laugh. "I love track with a passion though. When I'm on the track, nobody can hurt me -- they can't catch me. ... My favorite basketball player right now is Swin Cash. I love her. I like her tenacity. She always went out there and gave 110 percent."

I learned the most about running from: "My former coach Calvin Johnson (now at Southfield Lathrup). He's been there for me. ... Because of him, I fell back into track, got that same passion (as for hoops)."

Up next: Cross will major in social work and hopes to someday work with children. "It's important to me because I know how it is to not have anybody to fight for you. I know what feels like for kids to need somebody. I want to be an advocate for them."

(Click to read more.)

Zack Zingsheim
Lansing Catholic senior
Track and Field

Zingsheim will attempt to finish his record-setting career with a few more MHSAA championships at Saturday's Division 3 Final after winning the MHSAA Division 3 cross country title in the fall. He also earned an MHSAA track championship as part of the Cougars' 800-meter relay in 2011, and will run that relay, plus the 1,600 and 3,200 relays and the open 800 at Comstock. He won the 800 at his Regional by nearly five seconds with a time of 1:55.63. Zingsheim will continue to run this fall at Georgetown University.

Track man, track fan: "There's a certain thing about running. You've gotta love it. We're all Flotrack junkies. I was watching the Illinois state meet yesterday, the Texas state meet last week."

I learned the most about running from: "Probably my brother (Brandon, a 2001 Lansing Catholic grad). That's how I was introduced to the sport. He'd say, 'Zack, I'm going to run,' and it seemed like he was gone for two hours. I was just astounded, so shocked. He'd race me in sprints. I was pretty quick, and he was more of a distance guy. I never beat him, but he knew I loved the challenge. I've also been blessed with great coaches like Tim (Simpson, Lansing Catholic's head coach), our assistant coach Tim O'Hara, and guys like (teammates) Jimmy (Hicks) and Austin (Winter). The passion they have for the sport, they inspire you to want to be good."

I run like: "I can relate distance-wise to Robby Andrews. He ran for the University of Virginia. ... He's a late-kick guy. I used to be, but not as much this year. But growing up, as a runner, I knew I had foot speed waiting. I'd just wait and see what happened."

Up next: Zingsheim will run both cross country and track at Georgetown, and will major in accounting or finance. "I took an 'Intro to Business' class at LCC, and I really enjoyed it. I love the math side of business."

(Click to read more.)

Richland Gull Lake baseball

The Blue Devils are 34-2 and won the Greater Kalamazoo Tournament on Saturday with a 9-7 victory over Portage Central, formerly ranked in Division 1. Gull Lake is No. 1 in Division 2, and the Greater Kalamazoo title was its first since 2005. The Blue Devils are 72-4 over the last two seasons, which last spring included a run to the MHSAA Semifinals. They've continued to surge the last three weeks despite the loss of senior pitcher Nate Stegman -- and all-state selection in 2011 -- to an injury. (Click to read more.)

This spring's previous honorees

Goals Grow as Gladwin's Klein Seeks to Follow School Record with Big Finish

By Paul Costanzo
Special for MHSAA.com

April 24, 2024

Logan Klein wanted to leave his mark on Gladwin athletics – and one could argue, as a starting offensive lineman on the 2022 Flying Gs football team which won the Division 5 title, he had already done that.

Bay & ThumbBut Klein was looking for more, so that spring, he switched from baseball to track & field, and went after it.

“Really, I mean, I wanted a school record,” Klein said. “I had played baseball for freshman and sophomore year, and I knew I wasn’t getting it in baseball. I was good, but I wasn’t that good. I did (track & field) in seventh grade, and I was pretty good. I was really close in junior high (to school records) but then in eighth grade, we had COVID.”

In his first year back in the sport, Klein achieved his goal, setting the Gladwin school record in the shot put and throwing his way to a third-place, all-state finish at the 2023 Lower Peninsula Division 2 Finals.

Now, with a little more seasoning under his belt, he’s looking for even more.

“The big goal is to be a state champ,” he said. “The second goal, with how I’ve been throwing in the (discus) lately, I think I can be all-state in both events. That’s a really big one for me, too.”

Klein’s immediate success as a thrower didn’t come as a total surprise, as he really was quite good in seventh grade. He’s also a 6-foot-3, 270-pound athlete who, as mentioned, was a starter on a state championship-winning football team. The baseline was there.

He also had a willing teacher in teammate Logan Kokotovich, a 2023 Gladwin graduate who was a captain and Klein’s teammate in football, and the Gs’ top thrower prior to Klein’s arrival.

“(Klein) threw in junior high and he was pretty good, and then last year he started off real strong,” Gladwin boys track coach Buddy Goldsworthy said. “After lots of work on just technique stuff, he realized all the things he was doing wrong, then he just started throwing 50 footers. One person that helped make a good transition was Logan Kokotovich – he was good at football, too, and good friends with Klein. He showed Klein how to do a couple things better.”

On May 5, 2023, at the Nike Trax Invite at Meridian, Klein first threw over 50 feet in competition. Five days later, at the Jack Pine Conference meet, Klein had his school record, throwing 51 feet, 9 inches, smashing the old mark of 50-5 set in 1988.

Klein has high aspirations in both the shot and discus this spring.“I was starting to get up into the 50s, and I knew it was going to happen in the next meet,” he said. “I had been on a PR streak.”

He broke it again in his next meet, the first of four times he has eclipsed his chart-topping mark – which now stands at 55-4¼.

“He’s a big, strong kid, and he loved throwing in junior high,” Goldsworthy said. “We knew that he could be that guy. Now, we didn’t know he would be that guy so quickly. That was a pleasant surprise for us. He loves throwing. He spent a lot of time during the summer saying, ‘Hey, can we go up and throw? Can I take a shot or disc home this weekend and just throw?’ ‘I know you’re going to be gone on vacation, but can I have a shot to work on throws?’ He’s a real student of the game.”

Klein said he’s fallen in love with throwing, and there is certainly a part of him that wishes he had started as a freshman, knowing the massive leap he’s taken in such a short amount of time.

But his being so new to the sport makes him a very intriguing prospect for college coaches, if he chooses to go that route. There has been some communication, but Klein hasn’t decided yet if wants to follow up on throwing at the next level or go into the workforce by becoming an electrician, something that is waiting for him if he wants it.

“I was definitely not planning on (throwing in college),” he said. “I was actually a four-year starter for football, so that’s what I thought I was going to do. I’ve only been doing this for two years now, and I definitely can grow a lot more. A couple colleges have talked to me, and that’s what they were saying, that I really have a lot more potential.”

While he mulls over that decision, he’s working toward reaching those end-of-year goals he’s set, and also bringing along the next wave of Gladwin throwers.

“We talk about it a lot,” Goldsworthy said. “You want to leave a legacy. If you’re a jerk, no one’s going to remember, or they’re going to remember you not in the ways you want. He’s really taken that to heart and he’s the person that people want to be around. He’s going to be remembered that, yeah, he threw 60 feet, but he helped (junior Jacob) Hurst, he helped (freshman Harvey) Grove, he helped (freshman Nick) Brasseur. They’ll remember, ‘We wouldn’t have been as good if we didn’t have Klein around.’”

Klein said coaching also is in his future, whether that’s next year as he starts his career, or later down the line if he chooses to go to college.

With his mark already firmly left on Gladwin athletics, he wants to make sure others can do the same.

“I just like seeing my teammates grow,” he said. “We’ve got a freshman right now that’s really good. I told him, ‘I don’t care if you beat my record. I just want to be there to coach you through it.’”

Paul CostanzoPaul Costanzo served as a sportswriter at The Port Huron Times Herald from 2006-15, including three years as lead sportswriter, and prior to that as sports editor at the Hillsdale Daily News from 2005-06. He can be reached at [email protected] with story ideas for Genesee, Lapeer, St. Clair, Sanilac, Huron, Tuscola, Saginaw, Bay, Arenac, Midland and Gladwin counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Gladwin’s Logan Klein prepares to launch during a turn in the shot put circle. (Middle) Klein has high aspirations in both the shot and discus this spring. (Photos courtesy of the Gladwin athletic department.)