Originally from Casper, Wyo., Scott Jensen is the first admit that he had no knowledge of Keene State’s cross country tradition when he arrived on campus in the fall of 1996. Little did he know at the time, he would become a major part of that tradition, running a course that would lead him into the Keene State Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame.
It didn’t take long for Jensen to learn about the tradition. “I quickly learned about the great runners that preceded me and felt I had to live up to Keene State’s high tradition,” he said.
Jensen certainly did that. In his four years competing for the Owl cross country and track teams (1996-00), the fleet-footed Jensen helped Keene State make a smooth transition from Division II to Division III competition.
A three-time All-Region, All-New England, and All-Conference runner, Jensen earned the first of his two cross country All-American honors as a junior. Placing ninth at the meet, Jensen led the Owls to a very respectable seventh place finish. A year later, he led KSC to its first New England regional title and an unexpected second place finish at the NCAA championships held at Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
“I don’t like to get caught up in the back of the pack, so I went out quick,” said Jensen. “I was leading a mile into the race and decided to push it for all I got.”
Not able to hold on for the win, Jensen finished fifth to garner his second All-American award. “My teammates called me the four-mile champ.” said a laughing Jensen.
Despite suffering a series of nagging injuries making the transition to winter track, Jensen earned his share of honors on the oval, including a pair of All-American certificates. His first came outdoors with a fifth place finish in the 5,000-meters. The following winter he earned his second as a member of the Owls’ distance medley relay team.
Jensen, who was running the anchor leg, called the race one of his fondest memories of his Keene State career. “We were in 10th place, so I had to make up the distance,” he said. “I was able to pull it off and we finished sixth.”
“Scott was a much focused athlete and team leader,” said KSC Coach Peter Thomas. “If he didn’t have so many things on his plate (including army reserve duty), he could’ve doubled his All-American awards.”
“It’s a testament to Scott that he could remove himself from the race situation and be awesome dad,” said teammate Mark Miller. “But when he was with us at the track, all bets were off. He was as tough as nails.”
Jensen, a computer science major, epitomized the student-athlete. He was equally as successful in the classroom becoming KSC’s only national academic All-American. “I always had that internal expectation that ‘A’ was the only acceptable grade,” Jensen said. “So whatever it took, I was willing to do.”
Jensen, who credits Keene State for reinforcing his strong work ethic, is currently working as an FBI agent. He currently resides in El Paso, Texas along with his wife Darlene and daughters Autumn and Mikaela.