Jeff Powers is an accomplished distance runner with a championship pedigree.
Same for Anna Murdock.
Both ran in Monday’s second annual Memorial Day Mile in Franklin.
Both finished well ahead of the pack.
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A member of Franklin Community High School’s 2001 state championship cross-country team, Powers won the men’s race in a time of 4:32.70 — more than eight seconds ahead of the runner-up finisher.
Murdock, an NCAA Division III national champion from Franklin College, won the women’s race in a time of 5:35.04 — more than 16 seconds ahead of the second-place runner.
In light of their résumés, it’s no surprise Powers and Murdock ran away with their races.
Powers, 32, is a Franklin resident who was a standout distance runner at Central Michigan University. He finished 15th at the 2008 Men’s NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 10,000-meter run and qualified for the Olympic Trials in that event the same year.
In 2009, Powers had the distinction of being the first Indiana runner to cross the finish line at the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon. He finished fourth overall in what was his first-ever Mini.
Murdock, 22, is a Trafalgar resident who was a four-year cross-country and track and field standout at Franklin College. She won the 800-meter run at the 2015 NCAA Division III Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships to become the colleges first and only national champion in any sport.
In May, Murdock had the distinction of winning the Finish Line 500 Festival 5K women’s race in Indianapolis. She finished a full 19 seconds ahead of her nearest challenger in what was her first-ever participation in the event.
But first-place finishes aside, the Memorial Day Mile was far more a tribute to the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans than it was a competition.
Part of the of the city of Franklin’s Memorial Day weekend celebrations to honor those who served in the military, the event drew 633 runners and walkers of all ages, nearly doubling last year’s total of 350.
Event organizers have a goal of making the Memorial Day Mile the nation’s fifth-largest mile race by 2018. The two largest, respectively, are in New York and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In what is likely a first for Johnson County high school baseball, three local teams are headed to the regionals.In Class 4A, Center Grove defeated Greenwood 5-2 in Monday’s sectional final and advances to Saturday’s Evansville Reitz Regional.
The Trojans (23-3) play Bloomington South (16-10) in a 1 p.m. semifinal.
In Class 3, Indian Creek defeated Greencastle 13-1 in Monday’s championship final of the Danville Sectional. The title was the Braves’ first since 1973.
Indian Creek (17-2) plays Frankfort (13-13) in a 2 p.m. semifinal of Saturday’s Crawfordsville Regional.
And in Class A, Greenwood Christian Academy beat Waldron 11-1 in Monday’s final at Morristown.
The Cougars (15-7) play Jac-Cen-Del in an 11 a.m. semifinal Saturday of the Morristown Regional.