Central selects Williams to be cross country coach

What began as a weight-loss regimen for Jeena Williams five years ago has led to a head coaching position.

On Friday, Williams was promoted to Central High School’s boys and girls cross country coach.

Williams, 29, was the assistant cross country coach at Central last season.

She teaches language arts and sponsors the school’s service learning program.

After graduating from Grand Junction High School, she attended New York University for two years before finishing her teaching degree at Mesa State College, now Colorado Mesa University.

“Interestingly, I only started running three years ago,” Williams said. “I had gained a lot of weight from having a baby and needed to drop weight. So I started running.”

She said she lost 60 pounds in nine months. Soon, she was running marathons. Williams has run the Rim Rock Marathon on Colorado National Monument twice, and also has run the Rock ‘n’ Roll half-marathon in Denver.

She plans to run the Grand Valley Marathon in May.

“Once you do one,” Williams said, “you get kind of hooked.”

Williams replaces head coach Megan Mertes, and hopes to pass her love of the sport on to her athletes.

“I want to share the passion I have with the kids,” Williams said.


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