The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Zach Phillips beats Morenci's oldest track and field record 6.4

Written by David Green.

Many talented Morenci distance runners have tried to run a better mile than Rich Towne who set the standard in 1965. Until last week, every one of them had failed.

Enter Morenci junior Zach Phillips. His name will take the place of Towne on the record board as Morenci’s most enduring track feat has finally fallen.

Phillips’s best 1600-meter run last year was 4:58, bast week at the DTII county meet, he finished at 4:31.2 for a new record to eclipse the 4:33.6 set by Towne.

A week before the race, Phillips looked through the 1965 Observers and finally located Towne’s record-setting run. It was the last race of his high school career—the state meet at Mt. Pleasant. He ran a 4:35.2 mile, which was later converted to a 1600-meter equivalent.

Phillips had recently run a disappointing 1600-meter race at the regional meet and missed qualifying for the state competition. Life soured more when a running mentor, Johnnie Pike, died in a house fire.

That tragedy might have provided Phillips with the inspiration he needed to win.

Blissfield’s Justin Bateson led for the first three laps at the county event.

“I knew he would go out fast,” Morenci coach Brad Brown said, “and Zach let him lead.”

The pace was almost where Brown wanted it half way through the race, but a slow third lap had him worried.

Addison’s Donnie Freed made his move for the final trip around and Phillips went with him. At the 200-meter mark, Phillips turned the race around.

“Zach just took off and blew him away,” Brown said. “It was exciting and it was pretty emotional. Under the circumstances, I thought it was an amazing performance.”

Phillips said he saw the clock before that final lap and he knew it was possible.

“I definitely did it for Johnnie,” he said. “That’s what pulled me through.”

Phillips has another season to improve on his own record and also to go after the 800-meter record, now 24 years old. Phillips has come within a second of matching that mark.

 

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