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.”