My name is Dane Jensen. I’m 17 years old and currently attend Byron Nelson High School in Trophy Club, TX. I am the oldest of 4 kids, so I’ve always tried to be a leader and good example to my younger brothers, sister, teammates, and friends. I’ve played sports since I was 4 years old and ran since I was 12. I began to excel at soccer in middle school, and I was faced with a difficult decision between soccer and running during my freshman year of high school. I loved both sports but really appreciated the personal dedication, hard work, and accountability that running offers. I’ve run on the high school track and cross-country teams since my freshman year and started running varsity my sophomore year.
My first meet as a Freshman I ran 20:15, and by the end of cross-country season I was running 17:29. My Freshman track season was a blast, I was running fast and felt like I was constantly improving. My 1600m PR was 4:51, and my 3200m PR was 11:24. My Sophomore year was another great year, I continued to drop my 5k time all the way down to 16:48. Track season was no different, and I eventually dropped my 1600m to 4:43 and my 3200m to 10:02. My Junior year was plagued with a few minor injuries that kept me from getting into the best shape, but I stayed positive and trained as much as I could. I still managed to complete my cross-country season with a 5k of 15:40. After the season I took a little time off to recuperate. When I was cleared to run again, I slowly increased my miles and improved my times to the point where I was before my injury. I ended my Junior track season with a 1600m PR of 4:36 and a 3200m PR of 9:48.
Running for Byron Nelson High School taught me a lot of valuable lessons. My high school is part of the Texas 6A Region 1 which includes Southlake Carroll (#1 State), Lewisville Flower Mound (#3 State), Coppell (#7 State) and several other very competitive track and cross-country teams that we run against on a weekly basis. I’ve even heard it called the “District of Doom” when it comes to running. This is arguably one of the best high school running districts and regions in the country. I sometimes found myself getting frustrated that I wasn’t finishing at the top. My times were really good, but rather than being frustrated, the level of competition motivated me to get better. My times got faster and faster as I learned it was more important to focus on individual continuous improvement rather than comparing myself to others. This gave me confidence, determination, appreciation and fulfillment. Now I am going into my Senior season and looking forward to breaking the school record and qualifying for the regional and state finals.
In addition to my running career, I enjoy keeping myself busy with extracurricular activities like Boy Scouts, church youth group, a job, and hanging out with friends and family. I became an Eagle Scout by the age of 14, and I continue to participate in community service projects and plan fun and uplifting church youth activities. I also want to serve a two-year mission for my church. I joined the Chick-fil-A family and have been working there since I was 16 which has taught me how to balance between sports, school, work and life.
I’m determined to run in college, and I realize the effort, determination, and willpower that is needed to succeed. I plan to give my all, all the time to reach this lofty goal.