Marquette Pushes Title Run to 3 Straight

By John Vrancic
Special for

June 3, 2017

KINGSFORD — The Marquette boys quietly went about their business Saturday and were rewarded with their third straight Upper Peninsula Division 1 track & field title.

Marquette collected 128 points. Iron Mountain edged Houghton 76½-73 for the runner-up trophy, and Kingsford was fourth at 61.

The Redmen grabbed the top three places in high jump, with Jedidiah Weber leading the way at 6 feet, 2 inches. Raphael Millado took second and Taylor Althouse was third, both clearing six feet. 

“That was huge for us,” said Marquette senior Alex DuVall, who anchored the winning 1,600-meter relay. “We have a lot of young guys. The future looks pretty good. Houghton, Kingsford and Iron Mountain have a lot of good runners. It feels good to bring the title home again.”

Senior Wyatt Goodwin added a first in long jump (20-2), and DuVall helped the Redmen take second in the 400 and 800 relay at 45.30 seconds and 1:35.23, respectively. They were clocked at 3:31.33 in the 1,600.

DuVall, who plans to play football and basketball at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., in 2017-18, added a fourth place in the 100 (11.74).

“We ran our best time all year in the 1,600 relay,” he added. “Our handoffs went real well. We’ve been working on handoffs in practice, and we’ve got them down.”

Iron Mountain’s Aaron Bolo won the 110 hurdles (15.79), followed by teammate Charlie Gerhard (15.86) and Marquette senior Collin Shinners (15.89).

The Mountaineers captured the 800 relay (1:34.48). Gerhard took the 300 hurdles (41.34), and Bolo was runner-up in long jump (20-0).

Junior Clayton Sayen paced Houghton with victories in the 200 (22.63) and 400 (50.24) and by anchoring the winning 3,200 relay (8:15.7). Kamron Simpkin added a victory in pole vault (12-9).

Kingsford senior Trevor Roberts captured the 100 (11.25), anchored the winning 400 relay (45.25) and took second in the 200 (23.21) and third in long jump (19-6½). 

“This was a rebuilding year for us,” said Kingsford coach Doug Roberts. “We lost quite a few seniors last year. Marquette has a real good team. Yes, they’re a bigger school. But they have quality athletes and coaches. Hats off to them.”

Negaunee junior Colton Yesney won the 1,600 (4:24.81). Marquette junior Garrett Rudden was runner-up (4:30.49) and Sault Ste. Marie senior Ryan Sanderson (4:34.70) squeezed past Gladstone sophomore Adam Bruce by two hundredths of a second for third.

Sanderson took the 800 (2:01.35), edging Yesney by a half-second. 

“He (Yesney) is a good runner,” said Sanderson, who’s attending Michigan State on an academic scholarship this fall. “He ran a great mile. I’ve been here for four years and waited and waited to get one (U.P. title). Now that I got one, it’s a great feeling. It has been a great ride.”

Bruce earned his first U.P. title in the 3,200 (10:20.00), followed by Yesney (10:22.63), Rudden (10:28.43) and Houghton’s Seth Helman (10:28.62). 

“I’m super happy,” said Bruce. “I wasn’t going to run the 3,200 this year.

“I can’t ask for a better team. We’re a family. We get along real well. I really enjoy running for Mr. (Gary) Whitmer. He makes it fun.”

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PHOTOS: (Top) Marquette's Raphael Millado lays out over the high jump bar; he finished second in the event. (Middle) A pack of contenders stays close during the 1,600. (Photos by Cara Kamps.)

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

By Paul Costanzo
Special for

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.)