Thursday, April 14, 2011

Frances Koons Continues to Inspire

Professional Runner Koons to Inspire Local Girls
April 12, 2011

Milligan College, Tenn. --- As part of the festivities leading up to the inaugural Johnson City Invitational track and field event, US Olympic hopeful and cancer survivor Frances Koons will visit with student participants of the local Girls on the Run program April 14 and 15.

Koons will share with program participants about her experience as a successful collegiate and professional runner and her battle against kidney cancer on Thursday afternoon. She will visit Lake Ridge Elementary at 3 p.m., Mountain View Elementary at 4 p.m., and Legion Street Recreation Center at 5 p.m.

Koons will also be on hand on Friday evening as Girls on the Run participants run a special 800-meter race as part of the Johnson City Invitational.

Koons was a nine-time All-American for Villanova University in cross country and track. Her accolades include nine Big East titles. She advanced to the second round of the women’s 1500-meter run at the US Olympic Trials in 2007, just 10 months after being diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma.

Girls on the Run is a life-changing, non-profit prevention program that encourages preteen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running. The program combines training for a 5K with healthy living education.

The 12-week training program is delivered by volunteer coaches and teaches very specific social and personal skills. The program culminates in non-competitive 5K event which gives the girls a chance to shine.

The Johnson City Invitational, hosted by Milligan College and Science Hill High School, will feature the area’s elite high school and collegiate athletes. The event is slated for April 15 and 16 at Science Hill’s Kermit Tipton Stadium.

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