Another generation of Brown and Barrett runners 6.13

Written by David Green.

Thirty-one years ago, Morenci students Pam (Brown) Clifford and Jill (Barrett) Brown helped the Bulldogs win a state championship in girls track.

Earlier this month, it was their daughters’ turn to win medals at the state meet.

The women both reside in the East Grand Rapids school district and their daughters teamed up to win the Div. II 3200-meter relay race.

Jill’s daughter Nikki is a 2007 graduate. Randi Brown and Brianna Clifford recently finished their freshman year.

The girls didn’t just win a state championship; they also set a new school record of 9:29.

School records are nothing new for the two mothers. They set numerous records when they ran for Morenci.

Before you say anything about track being fairly new as a girls sport in 1976, and of course records were being set left and right, consider this: Pam Brown’s name is still in the Morenci record book for three events and Jill Barrett still appears twice. Those were records for the ages.

Pam’s school-record 5-foot-7 high jump at the state tournament is the event that gave Morenci the championship—it’s the only girls track title in more than 30 years.

In an interview in the Grand Rapids Press, the mothers were asked if they’ve put any pressure on their daughters to carry on the tradition.

“Not at all,” Pam said. “It’s been fun to see them take it up.”

Jill added that her parents, Jim and Pat Barrett, get a kick out of watching their granddaughters on the track.

“They say it’s just like when Pam and I were running.”

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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