By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Brimley's John Payment entered the 1989 Upper Peninsula Track & Field Finals with a personal-best high jump of 6-foot-8¾ – achieved in a meet only four days before the final competition of his high school school.
He left Marquette High School that May 27 with an all-Finals record of 7-1 that remains the all-time high and is the only all-Finals boys track & field record held by an Upper Peninsula athlete.
The 6-foot-3 Payment graduated as a three-time U.P. Finals champion in the event and entered his senior season with a best jump of 6-6. He cleared 7 feet twice at the 1989 Finals to tie and then break the then-previous all-Finals records set by Sterling Heights Stevenson's John McIntosh and Ann Arbor Pioneer's David Elliott set in 1979.
Brimley swept the top three places in high jump at the U.P. Class D Final in 1989, with Payment followed by teammates Bob Carrick and Kevin Sutton. Payment twice missed at 7-0 before eclipsing that mark and going for more.
"We're one big team," Payment said at the time. "Bob was telling me how far I was jumping from the bar. Bob told me I was too far out and to come in. That's when I cleared 7-1."
Only four others have jumped 7-0 at MHSAA Finals.
Click to read more from the Sault Evening News and its piece that is published as part of the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame website.