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.”

  • Homecoming Court
    HOMECOMING—One senior candidate will be chosen Morenci’s fall homecoming queen during half-time ceremonies Friday at the football field. In the back row are seniors Mikayla Price, who will be escorted by Mason Vaughn; Madison Bachman, escorted by Kiegan Merillat, and Mikayla Reinke, escorted by Griffin Grieder. Senior Ariana Roseman is absent from the photo. Her escort is Garrett Smith. In the front is sophomore Abbie White, who will be escorted by Ryder Price; junior Madysen Schmitz, escorted by Harley McCaskey and freshman Madison Keller, escorted by Jarett Cook.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • 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

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